ABU DHABI // A sheep jumped to its death as it attempted to escape being slaughtered by an unlicensed butcher on top of a five-storey building, police said today.
"The sheep preferred to die from falling" rather than at the hands of an inexperienced butcher, according to a statement.
The sheep jumped over a metre-high fence around the roof's perimeter after the butcher partially cut the sheep's throat, leading to a "fountain" of blood on the rooftop and the ground, where it landed on a parked car.
"The [butcher] completed slaughtering of the sheep on top of the car," the police statement said. "The sheep jumping on the car did not stop the butcher from finishing the slaughter."
Abu Dhabi police have said they were holding two people: the unlicenced butcher and the person who bought the sheep and hired the butcher. Officers learnt of the accident after being told a sheep had landed on a car near Najda street in Abu Dhabi.
No one was hurt, but the car was damaged.
Police added that the sheep's owner, from an unnamed Arab country, tried to slaughter the sheep himself in front of his apartment building, but failed because the animal kept escaping. He then hired the unlicensed butcher, from an Asian country, to do the killing.
The sheep was bought legally from a livestock market.
Officials have advised against dealing with unlicensed butchers and home slaughterers, and noted the importance of checking on livestock before they are butchered to make sure they are healthy. The country, including Abu Dhabi, has government-operated slaughterhouses for that purpose, officials said.
Police also noted that animals should not be slaughtered in residential areas.