WATCH: Dubai abattoirs prepare for Eid Al Adha

WATCH: Dubai abattoirs prepare for Eid Al Adha

Dubai - Round-the-clock abattoirs to reduce waiting queues.

By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Thu 1 Sep 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 1 Sep 2016, 5:28 PM

As Eid Al Adha fast approaches,  abattoirs in Dubai are preparing to receive the hoardes of people heading to slaughter their sacrifices in celebration.
Having witnessed the problem of long queues in the past, the Abattoirs Section of Dubai Municipality (DM) has made some changes to accommodate the huge numbers during the 4-day feast.

Abattoirs you can visit this Eid
> Dubai abattoir (Al Qusais)
> Abattoirs of Hatta and Lisaili
> Temporary abattoirs of Al Khawaneej and Al Quoz
Dubai abattoirs facts
> 300 Animals can be slaughtered by Dubai Abattoir this Eid
> 2 Temporary abattoirs at Al Khawaneej and Al Quoz
> 250 Butchers to work in 2 shifts this Eid
> Dh15 Charged per animal for slaughter by DM
A round-the-clock hall with six lines will be temporarily open during Eid at Dubai Abattoir, located in Al Qusais, accommodating up to 300 animals per hour. Ten butchers will be allocated at each line for a faster slaughtering process too.
"Last year, it took over three hours to slaughter 300 animals. But this time, we are aiming to accommodate this number in only one hour," Ali Tahir Al Hammadi, head of the Abattoirs Section at DM, told Khaleej Times.
"Eid Al Adha usually falls in the summer, which can make it harder for customers to wait. Our aim is to reduce the waiting time and speed up the slaughtering process."
The new changes are also expected to bring a 15 to 20 per cent increase in animals brought to the slaughterhouse.
Queueing up the numbers
With the two lines currently available at Dubai abattoir for small sacrifices and an additional one for big sacrifices, it is difficult to meet customers' needs during big occasions or celebration days.

While last year, Dubai Abattoir saw around 7,000 animals slaughtered for residents and 7,000 for charities, Al Hammadi said there has been over a 100 per cent increase of animals for charities this year, as organisations signing up for 16,000 to 18,000 animals until now.
The morning shift will be allocated to the general public, while evening shifts will be allocated to charities. Abattoirs around Dubai will be open 24 hours a day.
"We expect an increase due to the shorter waiting lines. The quicker we finish slaughtering, the more people will come in," noted Al Hammadi. "But this year, in addition to the new six lines, we expect to slaughter a total of 550 animals only at the Dubai Abattoir," he said.  From seven service centres last year, the emirate will see nine service centres this year.
Mobile abattoirs in Dubai
While no new lines have been added to other abattoirs around Dubai, there will be two temporary abattoirs at Al Khawaneej, close to the municipality's veterinary section, and in Al Quoz, next to Al Quoz Park 1.
Over 250 butchers will work in two shifts at abattoirs around Dubai. "We brought in 175 additional butchers in collaboration with private companies to accommodate customers 24/7," said Al Hammadi.
He also noted that by next year, two big abattoirs with new equipment and machines would open in Al Quoz behind Oasis Mall, and another in Margham, to cater to more residents across Dubai. While the first will be announced by the end of December, the second will open in July next year. The addition is to encourage people to follow the proper procedures and get animals slaughtered at abattoirs and avoid random slaughtering and door-to-door butchers.
"Avoid stray butchers at all costs, as they are unaware of public health standards. Incorrect slaughtering methods or unsterilised tools can contaminate the meat and cause health problems," warned Al Hammadi.
"While the municipality has only charged Dh15 per animal for slaughtering since 1989, stray butchers can take up to Dh500."
Medical procedures to follow
According to Dr Mahmoud Odeh, principal veterinary officer at Dubai Abattoir, the animals are inspected at every step, starting from port to dish.
Last year, around 150,000 animals were brought in from abroad in Dubai ports. Around 180,000 animals are slaughtered annually.
Odeh said inspections come in three phases: in the ports, the cattle market and in slaughterhouses.
This Eid, 35 vets will serve customers around abattoirs in Dubai. The number might increase depending on the demand during the feast, said Odeh. "We monitor the animal's movement and appearance. If the animal is healthy, its wool will be shiny. Discharge from eyes or salivation are warning signs," said Odeh.
"The goal is to ensure animal welfare and minimise the stress factors that can interfere with its meat quality," said Odeh.

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