This is the moment a group of devotees at a religious festival force a llama to drink beer as part of a bizarre ritual in a clip which has sparked fury among animal rights groups.
The controversial scene took place during the feast of La Virgen del Carmen in the southeastern Peruvian city of Cusco and was posted onto social media Pataz Pro – Animalista Cusco AAA, an animal rights NGO.
Video Credit: CEN/Pataz Pro-Animalista Cusco AAA
In the video, a group of revellers in traditional dress, named in reports as dancing group Qhapaq Qolla, can be seen surrounding a llama when one of them begins pouring a beer into the animal’s mouth.
The llama gulps the beer down as the man continues pouring it into its mouth for at least 10 seconds.
Pataz Pro – Animalista Cusco AAA wrote under the video: “This is animal abuse and do not come to say that it is tradition or religion.”
The group expressed their despise towards the ceremony and criticised traditional customs which mistreat and abuse animals.
The video has been slammed on social media, with one user commenting: “If your definition of faith and religiosity is to get drunk, you do not have to submit an animal that cannot defend itself and that has no option to choose whether to do it.”
Another netizen wrote: “Do you think your “Carmen mamacha” (the name of the local virgin) approves of these deplorable behaviours?”
Dancers Qhapaq Qolla have defended the video, writing on social media that the custom of forcing llamas to drink beer “has been carried out in the band since its founding” and they call it an invitation for the animal, adding: “This use of dance comes from Andean ancestral rituals dating back to pre-Hispanic times.”
They say that this ancestral tradition has been registered by both national and foreign academic researchers and they assured that everything was done with the owner of the llama’s permission and he can certify that the animal did not suffer any harm.
They added in the statement: “The animal is provided with the necessary food during the celebrations and a spacious and comfortable place to rest at night.”
The Mayor of the village Paucartambo where the celebrations are held, Isaac Yuri Zurita Caceres, supported the dancers and demanded an apology from the animal rights NGO.
The organisation has not reportedly responded to his demands.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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