Eid Al Adha 2019: UAE health authorities warn against butchering livestock at home

Health officials say unlicensed butchers do not have their livestock as thoroughly tested for diseases such as Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., August 22 , 2018.  Livestock shoppers for the second day of Eid Al Adha at the Abu Dhabi Livestock Market and the Abu Dhabi Public Slaughter House (Abu Dhabi Municipality) at the  Mina area. — A sheep vendor outside the Abu Dhabi Livestock Market.
Victor Besa/The National
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Local health authorities have issued new warnings against butchering sacrificial animals at home ahead of Eid Al Adha, saying improper slaughter can lead to serious diseases.

As the festival of sacrifice approaches, it is common for Muslim families to have a goat or lamb butchered for a feast.

The meat is cut into three parts and divided among relatives and the underprivileged, with one third is kept by the family.

With less than two months until Eid Al Adha, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has warned people to ensure they buy meat from a licensed butcher or risk diseases including Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

The virus is mainly transmitted to people from ticks and livestock but transmission can occur between humans by close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headache. In severe cases, it can cause bleeding, shock and multi-organ system failure.

About 40 per cent of victims die from the virus and no vaccine is available for people or animals.

Licensed butchers will have their livestock tested for the disease before slaughtering the animals.

Dr Hussein Al Rand, an undersecretary at the ministry, said it was working with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Abu Dhabi Health Authorities, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and the country’s municipalities to ensure health and safety.