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December 09, 2019 - Bangkok Post

NEPAL: When tradition trumps reason

NEPAL: When tradition trumps reason
Young buffalo being led to slaughterCredit: Humane Society International

The senseless killing of animals is something that should be condemned not celebrated. But a notoriously bloody spectacle that went ahead last week in Nepal reminds us how difficult it can be to overturn centuries of "tradition".

In 2009, around 250,000 animals -- mainly water buffaloes, cows, goats, rats, chickens, pigs and pigeons -- were slaughtered at the Gadhimai Festival, which is staged every five years at the Temple of Bariyarpu, 150 kilometres south of Kathmandu near the border with India. An alarmed world took notice, and the number came down to 200,000 in 2014.

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