Live Goat to be Ripped Apart in Nepal
During the annual Khokana Festival in Nepal, a 5-6 months old female goat is thrown into a pond and ripped apart while she is still alive. A group of young men enter the pond and attack, bite and tear the goat apart. The man who finally kills the goat is proclaimed a ‘hero’ and leads the dance procession which follows. According to Khokana residents this spectacle provides religious merit, although religious leaders have suggested that animals be replaced by fruits and vegetables to stop the suffering.
The Khokana Festival is held in August. Please ask the authorities to ban this cruel practice and to put an end to animal sacrifice in Nepal!
- Communist Party of Nepal (CPN ML)
- Communist Party of Nepal (Unified)
- Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
- Foreign Minister Secretariat
- Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai
- Ministry of Tourism
- Right Honorable President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav
- Rastriya Prajatantra Party
- Nepali Congress Central Office
- Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party
I respectfully call upon the Government of Nepal to ban the killing of goats at the annual Khokana Festival. During the Festival, held in August, a terrified goat is thrown into a pond and torn apart whilst still alive. The animal suffers tremendously before and during this sacrifice, including being starved and dehydrated during the transportation and often purposely killed slowly and painfully to please the goddess. This barbaric killing of goats not only contradicts animal welfare principles, but is also detrimental to the image of Nepal and its tourist industry as it sends a very negative message about the Nepalese culture. People are abhorred by such levels of cruelty towards animals and will boycott Nepal both as a tourist and via commerce. Violence and cruelty thereby alienate tourists and reduce profits from Nepal’s valuable tourism industry. Such practices are also detrimental to the people of Nepal, as brutalizing animals desensitizes the people, particularly children, to the suffering of others. Animal abuse is a well-documented precursor to violence against humans.
This practice has been carried out year after year in the name of tradition. Religion and tradition never justify outright torture. Nepal has already acknowledged the adverse effects and abolished a number of traditions, including human sacrifice and widow burning. Some ceremonies in Nepal feature animals skinned alive and even shredded by human teeth. The torture is so extraordinary that some animals die from shock. Religious leaders have proposed fruits and vegetables to substitute animal offerings. It is high time that the government introduces a ban on animal sacrifice and promotes a non-violent culture in Nepal.
Blood rituals have no place in the 21st century or in a civilised society and should be banned immediately. Please put an end to the barbaric killing of goats at the Khokana Festival. Furthermore, I urge the Nepalese government to enact and enforce an Animal Welfare Law that shields animals from all forms of abuse, including ritual sacrifice.
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