Sri Lanka to ban animal sacrifice at Hindu temples

International Desk:: Sri Lanka’s government has agreed to ban the ritual sacrifice of animals and birds at Hindu temples after growing protests from the country’s Buddhist majority and moderate Hindus.

The cabinet approved a proposal put forward by the Hindu Religious Affairs minister to outlaw the ancient practice on Wednesday, reports BBC.

“The legal draughtsman was asked to prepare a bill to ban animal and bird sacrifices at Hindu temples,” the government said in a statement.

During religious festivals, some Hindus sacrifice goats, buffalo calves and chickens at temples as an offering to their deities. But the practice has attracted years of protests in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, where critics call it inhumane.

Animals sacrificed at Hindu and Muslim religious festivals are often left to bleed to death, which angers animal rights activists and some Buddhist groups.

Many practicing Hindus choose not to sacrifice animals – but those who do have argued that the ban would impinge on their religious freedoms. They say such sacrifices are an ancient part of their faith that must be allowed to continue, BBC report said.

It appears the law would not cover animal sacrifice by Muslims, who are the third-biggest religious group in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has experienced deadly religious violence in recent years, including anti-Muslim riots that killed three people in March. Nearly 450 Muslim-owned homes and shops were damaged.

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