November 6, 2009 – Today representatives of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Anti-Animal Sacrifice Alliance handed over a petition signed by 3200 individuals from all over the world to Karima Bagam, State Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Pramada Shah, Manoj Gautam and Lucia de Vries urged the minister to ensure that all animals brought to Gadhimai to be sacrificed carry a certificate from an Indian or Nepali quarantine office.
Ms Begam promised to discuss the suggestion with her officers. She explained that Gadhimai is a very sensitive issue and that due to a limited number of quarantine offices and resources ensuring the wellbeing and health of the animals is difficult. She invited the representatives to join a meeting to finalise the long awaited Animal Welfare Act at her Ministry.
According to the campaigners the festival is not only cruel and inhumane but also dangerous. ‘Due to the fact that the transport, killing, disposal and preparation of the animals and their meat goes unmonitored and the close proximity between humans and animals, Gadhimai can result in widespread food poisoning (Salmonella, E coli, Campylobacter, etc), Tuberculosis, as well as bird and swine flu,’ the campaigners argue.