Over the past year, the issue of qurbani has garnered much attention following farm inspections conducted by the SPEAKS FOR, PROTECTS AND CARES FOR ANIMALS (SPCA) of the Cape of Good Hope. The organisation during the 2015 qurbani period inspected a number of farms where it witnessed that those conducting qurbani, both on farms and at private residences, violated the Animals Protection Act. Following its investigation, the SPCA issued a number of warnings and subsequently called for the Muslim community to fulfill the necessary requirements and to ensure respect for the Islamic process of qurban.
Speaking to VOC, inspectorate Manager at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Moyo Mqabuko Ndukwana explains that the SPCA is conducting pre-site inspections in preparation for the 2016 Eid al-Adha celebrations in order to ensure that all the necessary arrangements are made at the various farms.
“For the SPCA qurbani preparations do not begin on the day of Eid, it begins before it happens. So we believe that planning and preparations is vital to the process,” Ndukwana stated.
He says that while a lack of planning can lead to mishaps on the day of qurban, in a number of qurbani farms that the SPCA has thus far inspected, preparations have only recently begun.
“In one farm that we visited, the septic tank had not been pumped out and the whole place was so filthy. We said to the farmer that he knew that this day was approaching – why didn’t he make adequate preparations?”
Common mistakes made during qurban
Ndukwana asserts that while the SPCA works to enforce regulations prescribed within the Animals Protection Act, it recognizes the religious connotations attached to the exercise.
In a bid to ensure that communities respect their religious obligations in the bounds of the Animals Protection Act, he says that the SPCA is closely working with religious leaders, who have provided their support to the organization.
“We are fully in agreement with the qurbani being done in the spirit in which it was intended; animals handed humanely, no rushing, no noise, the process being a spiritual exercise, and you can feel that it is a somber exercise,” Ndukwana added.
He says that the SPCA is working to ensure that the Islamic process is fully respected and that slaughterers understand the rights of the animals, which include; the sharpening of the knife, that individuals are trained to slaughter, and that prayers are conducted during the process.
Safety tips for qurbani
Ndukwana explains that if individuals are to perform qurban at home, they should opt for small stock, such as sheep, which is easier to handle.
He further notes that animals should not be transported in the boots of vehicles, in non-roadworthy vehicles, or to transport animals with their legs tied.
Ndukwana encourages anyone who intends on performing qurban, both at home and on farms, to ensure within the next few says that all requirements are in place.
He further urges individuals, who intend to have their sheep slaughtered on a farm, to inspect the farm prior to the day of slaughter and to ensure that it meets all requirements.
“Last year, many people said that if they had known the state of the farms they would not have chosen it to perform their qurban. If it is done according to the scriptures I don’t foresee anything going wrong,” Ndukwana continued.
He says that the SPCA will be monitoring all qurbani sites and encourages members of the public to contact the SPCA in the event that they should feel uncomfortable with the manner in which animals are handled at a particular farm.
SPCA contact: 0217004158