May 6 – Campaigners speak out against animal sacrifices on Buddha Jyanti

Each year, on Buddha’s birthday (Buddha Jyanti), clans in Nepal sacrifice animals during their clan festival. Join the campaign to stop blood sacrifices. This year Animal Nepal and other members of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) spoke out against the widespread killings and urged the clans to conduct vegetarian offerings instead.

AWNN reminded the government and clan members how in the 1950’s King Mahendra, in order to honor the Buddha’s precepts against taking life and clouding one’s mind, decreed a ban on blood sacrifices and the closure of meat and alcohol shops on Buddha Jyanti. By doing so he followed one of emperor Ashoka’s declarations, displayed on a stone pillar in Lumbini. The ban is still observed to a large degree throughout Nepal, with Kathmandu Valley as the main exception.

Today clans such as Khadka, Thapa, Neupane, Ghimire, Rijal, Silwal, and Baskoti organised kul (clan) pujas in places like Hatiban, Thankot and Lamatar, featuring mass animal sacrifices. According to AWNN estimates over 700 animals were killed. Each clan sacrificed around 100 goats.