Eid: Lack of sheep, slaughterhouses

In Marseille Muslims are concerned about lack of slaughterhouses, in Belgium about lack of sheep.


Thousands of Muslims in Marseille are left without a place for the ritual slaughter of Eid ul-Adha, which is on Dec. 7 or 8 this year, following a decision by the mayor not to put at their disposal the Saint-Louis slaughterhouses, used for more than 20 years.

More than 20,000 people frequented this place in 2007 and 5,000 animals passed through, according to the Marseille meat sellers committee (CCM)

According to the Marseille mayor, a security commission which stopped by at the end of the summer declared the place  unsanitary, resulting in his decision.

Several meetings in the capital with the health services, mayor, CCM and regional Muslim council ended Wednesday with a memorandum of understanding for a temporary solutions for this year, but the veterinary services have yet to agree, according to the prefecture.

The solution consists of installing a tent in the area next to the Saint-Louis slaughterhouses where the sellers will transfer the slaughter lines.  The mayor undertook to level out the terrain and to address the logistics and cleaning out of the premises.

Nassera Benmarnia, head of the Union of Muslim Families, said that they are now three weeks away from the holiday and some families still don't know where to go.  It's a shame.  They started to progress, the consumers started to find a place and now they'll go back to killing sheep in the bathtub.  She wants a lasting solution for the 250,000 Muslims in Marseille, making up a quarter of the population.

She deplored the decision by the mayor made without announcing an alternative solution, and says that the Muslim citizens and consumers are taken hostage.

Martine Vassal, deputy mayor, said that they want, like other cities, to enable Muslims to slaughter with European standards.


Belgium is threatened with a shortage of sheep for the Islamic Eid ul-Adha at the beginning of December.  This is due to the bluetongue virus currently running rampant in the Netherlands and Germany. Many Belgian farmers have sheep meant for Eid ul-Adha stranded in Germany and the Netherlands, according to various Belgian media on Tuesday.

Because of the bluetongue virus in Belgium and German, no animals may currently be transported within a radius of 50 km of the contaminated area.

Sheep from areas outside of the contaminated zones may only be transported to recognized slaughterhouses and not to temporary slaughterhouses, such as those set up in Belgium for the holiday.

Sources: La Croix (French), h/t François Desouche; AD (Dutch)

No comments: