Charities offer convenient way to slaughter animals and distribute meat to the needy
ABU DHABI // The tradition of sacrificing animals and distributing the meat to the poor during Eid Al Adha is becoming increasingly inconvenient and expensive for many residents, forcing people to pay charity organisations to perform the task on their behalf, at home or overseas.
Several charities, including the Emirates Red Crescent, Dar Al Ber Society and the Dubai Charity Association, will slaughter sheep, goats and calves on residents’ behalf. They then take it upon themselves to ensure the meat is handed out to needy families.
The cost of having an animal sacrificed by a charity in the UAE is about Dh550, or Dh350 abroad.
“It’s not only more affordable but there are more people in need outside the UAE. More people can be fed with the same amount, too,” said Ali Jaber, an Emirati father of five.
Mr Jaber paid the Dubai Charity Association to carry out a sacrifice on his behalf this year.
A spokesperson for the charity said they distributed meat to the needy in several countries including Cambodia, India, Mali, Zambia, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
“Anyone who’s been to the livestock market and the slaughterhouses knows that it gets crowded and messy. Having to do so in summer doesn’t help either. You want to look your best on Eid and not smell like a goat,” said Sabri Ahmed, an Egyptian accountant who lives in Al Rashidiya.
Emirati Khalaf Eissa Al Obaidly, 34, has fond memories of Eid Al Adha because of the values his father instilled in him.
“My father ensured that we learnt what the feast of sacrifice was all about. It was a tradition in my family to buy the goat together and have it slaughtered after the Eid prayer.
“We then drove to a few poor families and distributed the meat to them with some essential items,” said Mr Al Obaidly.
“I understand why people would opt for more convenient ways through charity organisations, but there’s a joy in doing good deeds on your own.
“Also, how else will we teach children those important values when they haven’t experienced it first hand?”
Slaughterhouses in Abu Dhabi were prepared to receive sacrificial animals on the first day of Eid Al Adha from 7am up to 6pm, and from 6am to 6pm during the rest of the holiday.
The fees are Dh15 per goat/sheep, Dh40 for a calf/young camel, and Dh60 for an older cow/camel. Fees include chopping up the slaughtered sheep or goat into four pieces, and camels and cows into eight pieces.
Slaughterhouses do not offer additional cutting of carcasses into smaller pieces on the first and second days of Eid, because of the huge number of animals to be processed and to avoid keeping the public waiting longer.
Abu Dhabi City Municipality called on the public to avoid slaughtering sacrificial animals in houses, streets or public squares. Those who do so will be fined Dh500 and the animals confiscated.
Updated: September 23, 2015 04:00 AM