Joanna Lumley calls for Nepal to stop mass animal sacrifice

Rupanjana Dutta Tuesday 14th October 2014 12:16 EDT

Actress Joanna Lumley rallied outside the Nepalese embassy in London on Saturday 11 October, for an end to an animal slaughter festival due to be held in Nepal in November. The protest was attened by Anil Bhanot Managing Director of Hindu Council UK and Nitin Mehta MBE founder of the Young Indian Vegetarians, amongst others.

The actress said: “I love Nepal – both the land and its people. The Gadhimai animal sacrifice festival entails horrendous animal suffering and is a complete anomaly in this wonderful country.

I urge the Nepalese Government to end it as a matter of urgency.

I hope that our voices of protest will curtail this year’s festival so that Hindus in Nepal and elsewhere can once again be proud of their true tradition of compassion and concern for animals.”

This November as many as 250,000 farm animals will be brutally slaughtered at the festival, which happens every five years.

Gadhimai is a Hindu festival but is widely opposed by the global Hindu community.

Tens of thousands of animals at a time are corralled into a giant open air pen where their heads are hacked off in full view of each other. This blood-soaked event causes untold suffering to its terrified animal victims.

At the last festival, in 2009, hundreds of thousands of animals were decapitated, experiencing extreme fear and distress at the most vulnerable moment of their lives.

Surya Upadhya, Chairman of the Nepalese Hindu Forum in the UK, said: “The Nepalese Hindu Forum in the UK completely opposes animal sacrifice as Hinduism does not sanction the killing of living beings.

“There should not be any place for this inhumane, barbaric sacrifice of innocent animals in the name of any religion”.

More than 75,000 people have signed a petition urging the Nepalese Government to stop the festival and to stop funding the festival. Sign the petition at The last festival was sponsored by the Nepalese Government to the tune of £36,500, which is nearly 50 times the minimum Nepalese annual wage.

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