Over 17,000 animals slaughtered during Adha Eid in Kurdistan
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims in Kurdistan commemorated and remembered Abra- ham’s trials by slaughtering thousands of sheep, goats and cows.
At the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice. In 2013, the Eid al-Adha began on October 15th and lasted for four days. Based on a statistical report released by the Director General of Kurdistan Veterinary and Animal Products, over 17,000 animals were officially slaughtered over the Eid at slaughterhouse in the Kurdistan Region.
The report also reveals that over 14,000 smaller animals like sheep and goats, and over 3,000 larger animals including cows and bulls, were slaughtered.
Although the Health Ministry, through related agencies, advised people not to slaughter animals outside the slaughterhouses, many people did slaughter animals at their homes.
“Slaughtering animals at home is unhealthy and against Health Ministry rules. We notified people not to slaughter animals at home through media channels a few days before the start of Adha Eid,” said veterinarian Azad Khoshnaw, the Media Manager of the General Directorate of Veterinary and Animal Products.
Khoshnaw said that, for the sake of a clean environment and the national health, the directorate had helped all those who wanted to sacrifice animals by opening the slaughterhouses over the Eid and assigning professional veterinarians to examine the animals.
In addition to the veterinarians, who were based in the Region’s slaughterhouses during Eid, several other mobile teams consisting of professional veterinarians were made available to examine the animals slaughtered outside the slaughterhouses.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. A third is usually eaten by the immediate family and relatives, a third is given away to friends, and a third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes people’s willingness to follow Allah's commands and give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts. It also symbolizes people’s willingness to give up some of their own bounties in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.
“Eid is a nice commemoration. It is a day of forgiveness, of distributing meat to our friends, relatives, and the poor. I have decided to sacrifice a sheep every year during the Eid, if I am able to, because I enjoy it,” said Rahman Shukir, a 33-year old man as he helped a butcher slaughter a sheep.
The Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims to mark the occasion when Allah appeared to Abraham in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to demonstrate his devotion to the Almighty. Ignoring the advice of the Devil, who tried to tempt Abraham into disobeying God by saying he should spare Ishmael, Abraham was on the point of sacrificing his son when Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to kill in his place.
Today, the story is commemorated on the Eid through the sacrifice of a sheep or sometimes a goat. Nowadays, in most countries, the animal must be killed at a slaughterhouse. The day is a public holiday in Muslim countries, and the festival's Arabic title has connotations of a period of rejoicing that comes round over and over.
A view of Erbil Market for selling animals.