Ritual Slaughter

Photo: Sale of sacrifi
Slaughtering of animals: Environmental and health implications

5 November 2011

Eid Al Adha is a festival of sacrifice and is celebrated by Muslim worldwide on the 10th day of Zul Hijjah of the Islamic Calendar. On this day, Muslims throughout the world sacrifice animals like sheep, goats, cows, camels etc. per the Islamic ritual.As it is important to sacrifice an animal on the occasion, at the same time it is our responsibility towards our neighbours and society as well as our duty to follow the authority’s guidelines in performing the ritual in a safe and hygienic way.Due to unawareness, many of us prefer to slaughter the animal at home or at place convenient to us and ignoring the subsequent implications associated with the slaughtering of animal at unsuitable places e.g. villas, apartments, warehouses, open areas etc. If the slaughtering of animal is not performed in a controlled and safe method and waste generated is left unattended or not handled appropriately, then this could lead to an impending health risk for residents and also contaminate the surrounding environment.Nowadays, we have an opportunity to perform the sacrifice in state-of-the-art and well-managed and maintained abattoirs also known as slaughterhouses. In an abattoir, animals are slaughtered in a very safe and hygienic manner. It is to be noted that the products resulting from slaughtering of animal is not only meat/carcass but also by-products and wastes. The by-products and wastes include solid, liquid and gaseous emission (e.g. CH4) and odour.

The waste items like blood, skin, hair, inedible items, partially digested feed, rumen contents, bones, horns, hoofs, urinary bladder, gall bladder etc. need careful disposal in a safe and environmen- friendly technique. Otherwise this could leads to an environmental nuisance and become a media for growth and development of harmful microbes besides being a cause of disease and bad odour in the surrounding areas.

Cleaning of carcass requires considerable volume of water which is some times discharged into the sewer line as wastewater. There is blood, tissues and fat in the wastewater. The generated wastewater if released  into sewer lines would ultimately go to the receiving water body (sea, marine channel etc.) and potentially contaminate the water quality and affect the aquatic life.

The tools used in the slaughtering and cleaning of the carcass can lead to contamination of edible parts and can also facilitate in spreading of diseases, if tools are not adequately cleaned and sanitised for use.

Taking into account the seriousness of this matter, it is advisable to perform the sacrifice of animals at a properly managed slaughterhouse that is approved by the authority. In this way we will not only obey and earn the pleasure of Allah but also earn great rewards for keeping our neighbours and society safe and thus maintain a clean environment for all of us.

Khawaja M. Hasan, Abu Dhabi



~ by narhvalur on November 5, 2011.

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