Sri Lanka’s government has agreed to ban the ritual sacrifice of animals and birds at Hindu temples on the island.
A government spokesman told the BBC the move was proposed by the Hindu Religious Affairs ministry, and said most moderate Hindu groups support it.
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.
Image copyright Alamy Image caption Hindus make up around 12% of Sri Lanka’s population
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.