Saudi slaughterhouse shut over COVID-19 infections

Cairo: Authorities in a Saudi governorate have closed down a slaughterhouse for sacrificial animals after infections of the new coronavirus were recorded among employees there as the kingdom is seeking to stem the highly contagious ailment.

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The municipality of Al Majardah Governorate in the region of Asir in south-western Saudi Arabia said that online reservations for the sacrificial animals were scrapped due to the detected infections and to ensure public safety.

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“Health protocols have been applied. The infected persons have been isolated and the rest of employees have been examined,” the municipality added on its Twitter account.

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Residents were urged to make use of other abattoirs in the governorate.

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Saudi Arabia has put in place stringent health rules for handling sacrificial animals.

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The Saudi Project for Utilisation of Haj Meat has recently said that veterinary checking of imported animals intended for sacrifice is conducted before their arrival in Saudi Arabia in compliance with the veterinary quarantine law in force in the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council of which the kingdom is a member.

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Those animals are also subjected to comprehensive examinations before they are cleared for the ritual slaughtering. They are examined again in the abattoirs for health reasons and to ensure they comply with the conditions set by the Islamic Sharia law for sacrificial animals.

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During Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), Muslims, who can afford it, sacrifice animals such as sheep, goats, camels and cows, honouring the Prophet Ebrahim’s willingness to slay his son Ismael at Allah’s command. As the Prophet Ebrahim and Ismael showed unwavering obedience to the divine order, Allah sent a ram slaughtered in the son’s stead.

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The animal sacrifice ritual happens during the four days of Eid Al Adha, which starts Friday.

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The Morning and Evening Brief

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