KaZulu-Natal bull sacrifice continues, but Bali sea turtle sacrifice is prevented
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:
JOHANNESBURG, DENPASAR–Opponents of animal sacrifice failed
to halt ritual bull-killing at the annual First Fruits Festival in
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but thwarted an attempt to revive sea
turtle sacrifice in Bali.
Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Nic van der Reyden on
December 4, 2009 rejected the request of Animal Rights Africa for
either an injunction against the bull-killing or authorization to
witness and videotape it. Van der Reyden accepted the testimony of
Zulu professor Jabulani Maphalala that the ARA complaint was based on
inaccurate second-hand information, which ARA members could not
personally confirm because only Zulus are allowed to see the ceremony.
Maphalala testified that the killing, done at Zulu king
Goodwill Zwelithini’s palace in Nongoma on December 5, “must be
performed without rope, thongs or weapons of any kind. The animal
is overpowered and his air passage closed barehanded. His neck is
then broken. No bloodletting of any kind is allowed, nor is
dismemberment part of the ritual slaying,” summarized Sharika
Regchand and Sipho Khumalo of the KwaZulu-Natal Mercury.
Animal Rights Africa cited claims by witnesses who did not
testify in person that the killing takes about 40 minutes each year,
while dozens of men trample the bull, wrench his head around by the
horns, pull out his tongue, stuff sand in his mouth, and try to
tie his penis in a knot.
The Makhonya Royal Trust proposed just before the trial that
cattle should be sacrificed at each of the soccer stadiums that will
host the 2010 World Cup. “Government minister Sicelo Shiceka has
promised to lobby football’s governing body in support of the plan,”
reported BBC News.
The outcome was more encouraging in Bali, where most of the
population practices a pre-Manu form of Hinduism featuring animal
sacrifice, most closely resembling the rites of some “tribals” in
rural Orissa state, India.
The Indonesian forestry ministry “has rejected a push for
rare turtles to be legally slain in Hindu ceremonies, siding with
conservationists of the protected reptiles,” reported Niniek Karmini
of Associated Press on November 30.
Elaborated Jakarta Post correspondent Ni Komang Erviani,
from Denpasar, the Bali capital, “Governor Made Mangku Pastika
proposed a quota of 1,000 turtles per year for religious and
ceremonial purposes. However, according to data from the Turtle
Conservation and Education Center, Bali only needs 80 turtles a year
for religious purposes.”
Sacrificing sea turtles was banned in 1999. The Indonesian
environmental organization Pro Fauna found that from 27,000 to 30,000
sea turtles per year were killed in Bali before 1999, as turtle
sacrifice and consumption was a prominent part of many social and
cultural celebrations. The toll dropped to about 2,000 sea turtles
per year after 1999.
A World Wildlife Fund source told Erviani that Bali buyers
illegally imported about 500 sea turtles from other parts of
Indonesia in 2009.