WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A barbaric Nepalese festival which sees a live goat ripped apart by villagers’ bare hands and teeth has gone ahead for another year, despite uproar from animal rights activists trying to get it banned.
Shocking photographs taken from this year’s Deopokhari festival show children looking on as villagers tear at the live baby goat as part of the horrific annual competition.
The 900-year-old festival is held every year in August, in the village of Khokana, one of the oldest villages in the Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal.
But animal rights campaigners have branded the celebration ‘barbaric’, as part of the ceremony sees a young female goat brutally sacrificed.
The charity’s UK director Mimi Bekhechi, said: ‘The Khokana festival demonstrates only obliviousness to world opinion, disrespect for life and an almost uniquely savage and disgusting display of cruelty.
‘There are few living beings as gentle and defenceless as baby goats, the victims of this barbarous act.’
Ms Bekhechi continued: ‘Images of terrified kids [baby goats] being attacked and drowned as they bleat and struggle for their lives hurts Nepal’s reputation internationally and certainly damages the tourist trade.
‘We urge the majority of people in Nepal, who are no doubt kind and caring, to join the international clamour to end these barbaric rituals.’
Surajan Shrestha, President of the Animal Rights Club in Nepal, told MailOnline: ‘The process of the ritual is actually a very long one, the goat suffers for at least 40 minutes before she gives up slowly with extreme pain and suffering.
‘Khokana festival has been a festival of a particular ethnic group for many years in which a goat is killed in a very cruel manner in the name of god and for entertainment. ‘Traditions in which animal cruelty is involved should be stopped as soon as possible.’
The largest online petition, calling on the Nepali Congress Central Office to ban the practice, has been signed by more than 57,000 people, while several others have received more than 5,000 signatures each.
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