SC: Regulate animal sacrifice

  • Gadhimai festival
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Nov 24, 2014-

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered authorities to implement the existing legal provisions for regulating sacrifice management during the Gadhimai festival. The event, observed once every five years, is scheduled for November 28 and 29. A single bench of Justice Govinda Upadhyaya issued the order in response to three petitions filed at the apex court.

According to Director General of the Department of Livestock Keshav Prasad Premy, around 14,000 animals have been vaccinated at five check posts set up in Bara, Parsa and Rautahat districts. “We are trying to make sure that the sacrifice is carried out in a more systematic manner than before,” said Premy.

Besides government authorities, animal rights and welfare activists from India and Nepal have reached Barayapur village as the once in a five-year ritual nears. Devotees believe the ritual appeases goddess Gadhimai and bring prosperity.

While activists, including English actress Joanna Lumley, have called for the sacrifice to be banned, Premy said it was not possible to ban the event all together as it is tied with religious sentiments. The focus, however, has been on better management and regulation of the ritual with an emphasis on reducing the number of sacrifices, Premy added.

“We have to have some sort of intervention both to protect the welfare of animals and to stop the outbreak of diseases,” he said, referring to goat plague that had spread as carcasses were left to rot on the previous occasion.

Meanwhile, the Indian Supreme Court has passed an interim order, directing the government of India to prevent animals from being illegally transported across the border into Nepal |during the festival. Around 70 per cent of the animals come from India.

 

Published: 25-11-2014 09:09

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