There are some that knowingly and deliberately flout the law when engaging in the practice of animal slaughter on Eid al-Adha, the SPCA in the Western Cape has alleged.
Muslim’s annually engage in a ritualistic slaughtering of livestock on the day of Eid, and are required to adhere to specific principles to ensure no harm or trauma is inflicted upon the animals. The SPCA, which maintains a watchful eye on proceedings both on qurbani farm and in the private sphere, seeks to ensure that animals are treated justly during the slaughter.
But Moyo Ndukwana, the SPCA’s chief inspector in the Cape said that whilst there were those that were complying with the law, there was a trend of individuals who were aware of the correct protocol but “deliberately choosing to do what is wrong”.
“From the SPCA’s perspective when it comes to qurbani, a lot of education has been done, particularly with the large scale operations that are taking place on the farms. But in some places we have had to intervene and stop the operations,” he said, equating some of the proceedings to ‘mass killings’ rather than a religious practice.
Much of the contention comes in the way animals have been handled, with SPCA personnel in several instances witness to animals being picked up by the wool and dragged by the legs.
Other concerns include how animals are restrained prior to the slaughter, as well as a lack of proper hygiene practices with the meat once the animal has been slaughtered, the latter of which falls outside the scope of the SCPA.
The group’s monitoring of the qurbani stretches from the greater Cape Town area to as far as Gordon’s Bay, and the incidents in question have reportedly been seen throughout the peninsula.
“Everybody knows how qurbani needs to be done as this is an important festival in the Muslim faith. We shouldn’t be making cruelty and qurbani in one sentence, we don’t believe in that and we are extremely disappointed in the cases we had to issue warnings in terms of the animals protection act,” he noted.
Ndukwana said they would seek to engage with Muslim leaders within the new year to stress the point that the practice need not be conducted in a similar manner as has been seen this year.
“We need to ensure that the whole process of qurbani, from when the animal is alive up to the point where the meat is consumed is entirely clean,” he stressed. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)