Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has confirmed that slaughtering of sacrificial animals inside the approved slaughterhouses ensures that their meat is fit for human consumption and maintains public health. The State's abattoirs provide several features while performing sacrificial slaughtering.
ADFCA clarified that these features include pollution control during slaughtering carcasses, adequate environment ensuring safety and hygiene, veterinary examination before and after slaughter, as well as following the best practices during slaughter to prevent the contamination of carcasses. The slaughterhouses also provide qualified and approved butchers who are technically qualified and licensed to carry out this practice in the abattoirs in addition to the provision of proper disposal of remnants of slaughter (blood, skins and non-edible offal).
For his part, Thamer Al Qasemi, Director of Communication & Community Service Division at ADFCA stressed the importance of veterinary test carried out on animals inside the abattoirs to ensure the meat is suitable for human consumption. "It gives us the chance to detect diseases and its pathogenesis as well as to identify situations that suggest total or partial condemnation. The test helps us to control of the meat-borne diseases (tape worms) and many other zoonotic diseases both humans and animals share," Al Qasemi added.
He further stressed the importance of veterinary tests in detecting remnants of veterinary medicines inside the animal, and if found, to remove off the infected organs. Al Qasemi said slaughter inside the abattoirs is carried out in line with the Islamic teachings pertaining to slaughtering of animals, such as facing Quibla, Invocation and right cutting for proper bleeding. Besides, veterinary tests help to detect poor bleeding which results from fever, which directly affects the validity of meat.
Characteristics of sacrificial animal
Al Qasemi also explained about the things to be taken care of from the very beginning of purchasing the sacrificial animal till it reaches home for distribution in the form of meat pieces.
"According to Islamic teachings, sacrificial animal should be free from diseases and of perfect physical condition without any kind of disability or weakness. The animal should be active and having enough flesh, in addition, it should be responsive to external situations. It shouldn't be having any visible lameness and abnormal secretions shouldn't be found leaking through the natural openings in the body. The animal should breathe with easiness and its head should be straight in line with the body structure. The eyes of the animal should be bright and shouldn't be yellowish or reddish in color. When provided with fodder it should be swallowing and eating normally and there should be no sign of indigestion" Al Qasemi explained.
AlQasemi said the sacrificial animal should be given enough feed and water but it should be stopped 12 hour before the slaughtering time.
Safe transportation of sacrificial animals
Regarding the transportation of sacrificial animals, Al Qasemi said it is preferable for sacrificial animals to be transported to the nearest governmental slaughterhouse, pointing out the transportation of animals in poor conditions may be reflected negatively on the quality of meat.
According to Al Qasemi, three steps must be taken into account while transporting animals. First, a small pickup is best to move the animal in order to avoid vast standing space for the animal which will cause fall of animal on the walls of the vehicle according to road conditions and sudden use of breaks. Second, hands can be tied if the animal is of calm nature and if not, right leg also can be added. But the left leg should be free in order to give the animal comfort to lie down. A soft mattress should be provided on the floorings to reduce the roadway shocks while the animal is laying position. Third, while getting the animal off the vehicle, extra care should be taken in order to avoid slipping off or falling down that may harm the animal.