Eid Al Adha warning in UAE: Civic bodies warn residents against seeking illegal butchers, risking health
Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman - Dh20,000 fine will be slapped on illegal butchers.
Many illegal butchers are promoting their services on social media and distributing flyers in residential areas to woo customers. They are doing so even though tough penalties, including up to Dh20,000 fine, have been announced by authorities in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman on illegal slaughtering of sacrificial animals in unauthorised places during Eid Al Adha.
These illegal butchers post their contact numbers and offer animal slaughtering services at a cheaper rate as compared to abattoirs. They even offer to pick up the animal from the market and deliver it home: slaughtered and well-skinned.
As the practice grows, the municipalities have warned residents of the danger of illegal slaughtering by unlicensed butchers. They have urged the public not to hire an illegal butcher to slaughter a sacrificial animal in an undesignated places or inside the house, as the practice could pose serious health and environmental risk.
Dh 20,000 fine on illegal butchers
The civic bodies underlined that If illegal butchers, meat shops, and restaurants are found slaughtering animals at undesignated places, they will be slapped with a fine of Dh20,000. The municipalities are stepping up control, monitoring, and inspection targeting illegal butchers, who offer sheep and cattle at the market and their quick slaughtering services at a cheap price.
Omar Al Muhairi, head of the food control and veterinary services department at Sharjah Municipality, said that the illegal butchers have resorted to promoting their services on social media as they find it risky now to stand at the entrance of the cattle market to lure the customers after the municipality increased inspection and monitoring ahead of Eid.
"Despite the intensified awareness programmes to educate the public on illegal slaughtering, there are many who continue to entertain these butchers who rear their ugly heads during the Eid."
He urged residents of Sharjah to avoid illegal slaughtering and avail of the services at the abattoirs, which maintain the highest standards of quality to ensure public health safety. "Illegal slaughtering not only poses risk to public health but the waste of animals dumped in the open affects the cleanliness of the city and pollutes the environment."
Khaled Al Hosani, head of health directorate of Ajman Municipality, pointed out that to curb the practice of illegal slaughter, the civic body has started cattle market next to the abattoir for traders to sell the animals. "This will make it easier for people to choose animals and directly go to the abattoir for slaughtering, instead of seeking illegal butchers."
The abattoirs section at the Dubai Municipality has urged the public to ensure the safety of their health by conducting safe sacrificial slaughter.
An official said that the sacrifier should seek the approval of authorised slaughterhouses prior to the slaughter and get the meat inspected to ensure safety and health standards.
He added the public should be aware of the ways of safe sacrificial slaughter, role of the veterinary doctor, and the dangers of slaughtering outside the designated abattoirs and risks of seeking the services of roaming butchers.
He urged people to avoid employing door-to-door butchers who use unhygienic tools that may pose health problems to consumers.
The approved slaughterhouses and contact details are as follows:
Dubai (Qusais) Tel: 042 672 525, Bur Dubai (Shindagha) Tel: 043 937 473, Hatta Tel: 048 523 733, Al Lisaili Tel: 0554040916.
'How can I spend my entire Eid at abattoir?'
Despite awareness and warning about the danger of illegal slaughtering of animals, a large number of people continue to seek out illegal butchers, claiming that the abattoirs can't meet the high demands. There's a huge crowd of customers, who want their animal to be slaughtered at the same time immediately after Eid prayer. The abattoirs fail to deal with the heavy rush and customer have to wait in long queues for their turns until evening, some residents pointed out.
"We can't spend the entire day of Eid in the queue at the approved abattoirs," said Abdullai Mustafa, a resident of Sharjah.
Tasneem Imran, another Sharjah resident, said that his friend has contacts of some butchers, who circulate their numbers on social media platforms. "They offer to pick the animal from the cattle market and deliver it to them at their home ready for cooking."
"How can I spend my entire Eid at the abattoir just to slaughter my animal? I will rather hire an illegal butcher, who delivers the meat at my doorstep," he said.
Osama Ahmed, an Ajman resident, said he hands over money to an illegal butcher to purchase the animal for him and slaughter it.
Hameed Khalfan, another resident, urged the municipalities to set up more abattoirs. "The demand is very high and the civic bodies should open more slaughterhouses so that people don't avail the services of illegal butchers."