Prices for sacrificial animals rise ahead of Eid Al Adha

The price of sacrificial livestock is rising across the emirate as residents and traders stock up, days before Eid Al Adha.

Sheep for sale at the livestock market at Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi this week. Traders and shoppers have expressed disappointment at the rising costs of sacrificial beasts for Eid Al Adha. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // The price of sacrificial livestock is rising across the emirate as residents and traders stock up, days before Eid Al Adha.

A shortage of jaziri lamb, from Iran, is believed to have led to price rises of as much as Dh500 in other varieties of meat.

Local livestock traders at the animal market at Mina Zayed suspect prices will continue to rise until Eid ends.

One trader accused Dubai livestock suppliers of hoarding, further adding to the price of meat.

“Dubai’s big suppliers stock the livestock to earn bigger profit,” said Nawab Yousuf, a trader at Mina Zayed.

“They would release livestock just before Eid Al Adha when people and local traders will be ready to pay any price for a sacrificial lamb.”

Mr Yousuf, a Pakistani who has worked in the UAE for 18 years, just received 40 local lambs from Al Ain.

But he found that the price had increased dramatically, lowering his profit.

“One local sheep, najdi and naeemi, cost Dh1,600 to Dh1,800,” he said.

“The same sheep we would have got at around Dh1,000 and Dh1,200 when jaziri was coming here.”

Mr Yousuf said 3,000 to 4,000 jaziri sheep used to be brought in each day.

“In its absence other breeds are hardly found,” he said.

Seven months ago Kashmiri sheep were sold at Dh400 but now they are priced at Dh600 to Dh650, Mr Yousuf said.

The same goes for Somali goats, which used to cost Dh450 but now cost Dh600 for a 12-kilogram animal.

“On Saturday I was in Dubai market and traders quoted me a price for two Somali goats at Dh1,400. I was surprised to hear that,” Mr Yousuf said.

Shoppers who turned up to buy goats for Eid were also unhappy with the high prices.

Mohammed Naheed, an Indian buyer who was looking for a Kashmiri sheep a week before Eid, was hoping to get a better deal but was surprised by the price rise.

“I am bargaining with them to get better price,” Mr Naheed said. “I will keep it at home and then bring on the Eid day for slaughter.

“Prices would go further up on Eid day. I’ll invite my friends and families to share happiness of Eid at home.

“Previously I got jaziri but now it’s not available so I’d go for Kashmiri sheep.”

Another trader, Fadhal Obadi from Yemen, said that “all sacrificial animals’ prices are up by Dh100 to Dh150, while local sheep are very expensive”.

Now the local sheep costs up to Dh2,000 for one weighing 40kg and the price is up about Dh300 to Dh500 a piece, he said.

Mr Obadi hoped that prices would come down after Eid Al Adha.

The meat establishments control section at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and departments responsible for slaughterhouse at the emirate’s municipalities have warned abattoirs to put a stop to inappropriate work practices.

Inspectors from the control sections in Abu Dhabi, the Western Region and Al Ain will conduct inspections during the religious holiday to ensure all health requirements are observed.