UPDATE: The BBC is now reporting Ram Chandra Shah, chairman of the Gadhimai Temple Management and Development Committee, has denied that any ban is in place for the Gadhimai festival.
"Devout Hindus could be requested not to offer animal sacrifice to the goddess, but they could not be forced not to do so - nor [could] the tradition be banned or stopped completely," he told the BBC. "Nothing will change as far as the tradition of offering animal sacrifice during the festival is concerned. Things will not change no matter what the four [in the delegation] do or say. It's our age-old tradition."
According to the article, the original quotes may have been taken out of context. Meanwhile, the BBC also reports that HSI maintains the original quotes were from Ram Chandra Shah and that the ban is still in place. The Dodo has reached out to HSI for more information and will update this story when we have it.
Tradition is no longer an excuse for killing an animal in Nepal, where animal advocates are applauding the new ban on animal sacrifice at a 265-year-old festival, which had been the biggest animal sacrifice in the world.
Every five years, the Gadhimai festival honors a Hindu goddess, Gadhimai - in previous years, by decapitating live pigs, goats, chickens, and buffalo, among other animals. In 2009, half a million animals were killed. During the festival in 2014, protests were organized and held all over the world. The tradition came from a dream the temple's founder, Bhagwan Chowdhary, once had: He dreamt that the Hindu goddess wanted blood as a thank you for freeing him from prison.