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article imageBardot's call to end 'greatest collective sacrifice of animals'

By Robert Myles     Nov 11, 2014 in World
Paris - Former film star turned animal rights activist, France’s Brigitte Bardot, issued a call this week for the President of Nepal to ban what she termed was “the greatest collective sacrifice of animals in the world”.
Warning: The attached video footage contains images that some may find shocking.
The demand was issued in an open letter (PDF) through the Brigitte Bardot Foundation — La Fondation Brigitte-Bardot — an animal rights charity founded by Bardot in 1986. The call relates to the Hindu festival of Gadhimai Mela, a month-long festival held every five years at the Gadhimai temple at Bariyarpur, about 100 miles (160 km) south of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.
During the festival, which attracts up to 5 million participants, as many as 250,000 water buffalo, pigs, goats, chicken and pigeons are ritually sacrificed with the aim of pleasing Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power.
In the letter to Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav, Bardot writes, “The defenders of animal rights in Nepal and elsewhere are once again campaigning to end the largest collective sacrifice of animals in the world at Gadhimai Mela, to be held in two weeks time in the southern plains of the country".
"The world will look on again with horror and despair as some 250,000 goats, buffaloes, pigs, chickens, pigeons, ducks and white mice are cruelly sacrificed in two days," adds Bardot.
Now 80 years old, the former actress, during the last quarter of a century or so, has become as celebrated as an animal rights activist as she was famous as a film star during an acting career spanning the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
It isn’t the first time Bardot has called on Nepal to end the quinquennial sacrifice. The former actress issued a similar letter to Nepal’s Head of State in 2009 but that letter went “unanswered” says the Brigitte Bardot Foundation.
According to the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, the death of animals slaughtered at the Gadhimai festival is violent and slow, the animals still being alive as their blood is shed by Hindu priests.
In Bardot’s letter, the former film star says, “I find it hard to believe that the Goddess Gadhimai would rejoice in the sacrifice of innocent creatures and reward such cruel violence with prosperity”.
Bardot adds that such practices “recall ancient and cruel traditions” and give “an extremely negative image of your country and its evolution”.
Appealing to the better nature of the Nepalese, Bardot writes, “Nepal will receive more credit by preaching its spiritual message of non-harming and compassion instead”.
“I beg you, Honourable President, to wipe out such cruel tradition in your country,” pleads Bardot in conclusion.
Bardot is by no means alone in speaking out against the massive five-yearly slaughter in Nepal.
Surya Upadhya, Chairman of the Nepalese Hindu Forum UK told campaign group, Compassion in World Farming, that his organization, "completely opposes animal sacrifice as Hinduism does not sanction the killing of living beings," adding, "There should not be any place for this inhumane, barbaric sacrifice of innocent animals in the name of any religion".
Compassion in World Farming have launched a petition as part of their campaign against what they term the "inhumane slaughter at Gadhimai Festival."
More about Brigitte bardot, Animal rights, Ritual sacrifice, Nepal, Animal slaughter
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