On August 16, 2018, ARM’s investigative team embarked to Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital city, to document and expose one of the most dangerous and barbaric animal sacrifice rituals.
This was the first time an animal protection agency had exposed the severity of this particular country’s sacrificial event.
Eid-Al-Adha is otherwise referred to as the ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ is a Centuries-old bloody sacred festival that is one of the holiest animal sacrifice ceremonies in the Muslim calendar.
Celebrated worldwide, this event commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s request. In the final moments, the slaughter of a goat granted in return for Abraham’s son’s safety. This religious message is what has led to the desensitized place of animals for ‘offerings’ and slaughter every day in Bangladesh and other countries worldwide who practice this religion and belief system. Learn more about Eid-Al-Adha by clicking here.
During ARM’s 2018 investigation, the first slaughter day took place today, August 22. According to a statement released by the Bangladesh Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock before the ceremonies, an estimated 14 million animals were killed and sacrificed, including the 11.6 million heads of cattle specifically transported from local farmers.
In addition to these incomprehensible numbers, smugglers smuggled countless animals into Bangladesh from neighboring countries, such as India. People took desperate measures to bring animals into the country to participate in this highly celebrated annual event, including reports of cattle catapulted over the border crossings.
There are approximately 2954 sacrifice sites designated for these ceremonies in Dhaka alone, where ARM was on the scene documenting both inside people’s houses as well as frantic slaughtering on the streets and roads throughout the various city zones of Dhaka.
Before the primary ‘slaughtering’ day of Eid-Al-Adha, buffalos, goats, sheep, cows, and camels were transported continually by boat and land, to expansive cattle markets. The markets then sold the animals for sacrificial purposes.
On August 19, ARM entered into Gabtoli – the most significant cattle trading market in Bangladesh. Footage obtained by ARM depicted animals being tethered tightly on short ropes, many near-death, and strangling themselves. ARM witnessed animals given sedatives and a multitude of other injections. Animals with newborn babies were plentiful throughout the market as their grave futures lay pending just mere days away.
For the Eid-Al-Adha slaughtering, animals were sold to customers for sacrificial ‘gift’ purposes and fetched exorbitant prices. An average goat price soared to USD 500 plus. Camels and prize possession bulls (shipped from Texas, USA), demonstrate social and wealth status and reported as costing on average from USD 20,000 to specialty-bred cows of over USD 35,000. One of the bulls that ARM documented at the Gabtoli Cattle market stood well over 10ft tall. ARM also witnessed two camels up for sale for the most regal of ceremonies.
In the United States or Western countries, killing an animal, while sensible to pain like this – is considered to be a severe animal cruelty charge of a felony degree.
With little to no animal protection laws in India and Bangladesh, this stands as a leading reason why ARM works tirelessly to expose the abuse of animals, mainly farm or ‘livestock’ animals, who have the least protection worldwide.
The Eid-Al-Adha stands as one of the most primitive and chaotic religious animal sacrifice festivals in the world. In 2016, it became infamous after monsoon rainstorms caused the city to flood, turning the water and streets into flowing rivers of blood from the carcasses and entrails of millions of animals freshly slaughtered.
Straight out of the scene, The Guardian Newspaper referenced ARM’s experience in 2017 as a ‘post-apocalyptic experience of mass violence.’ The event was celebrated and rejoiced in the streets by every age. Even children played and danced barefoot in the blood of freshly slaughtered animals.