Cruelty fears at ritual kills
ANIMAL welfare inspectors are investigating what they believe is the widespread ritual slaughter of animals in suburban backyards.
Two RSPCA officers on Monday attended a stockyard at Mernda market, amid concerns animals were being bought for slaughter in backyard ceremonies for Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice, which is held from December 8 to 10 and requires believers to sacrifice a live lamb or goat.
As officers arrived, theÂ Sunday Herald SunÂ witnessed dozens of vehicles turn back and leave.
The RSPCA was also investigating alleged cruel handling and transportation, after reports animals were dragged like “sacks of grain” and put in car boots.
Yard operator Andrew Wilson said he was aware some stock was mishandled and sold for illegal backyard slaughter, but he blamed cultural differences.
“That’s they way they do it in the Middle East,” he said.
TheÂ Sunday Herald SunÂ also saw a taxi with a sheep in the back seat – the driver said he was taking the animal to his home “just around the corner”.
Meat industry regulator PrimeSafe warned the practice was illegal and dangerous.
“This poses a major risk to public health and under no circumstances should any person consume meat that is slaughtered at any place other than a licensed facility,” PrimeSafe executive officer Brian Casey said.
Residents said they felt sorry for the animals.
“Some of the animals are stunned, but others are crying out in pain – it’s the Muslims getting them to sacrifice for that festival. Everyone knows that, but no one does anything to stop it,” Tamara Cornell said.
Hundreds of animals were killed by novices each year, RSPCA inspector Allie Jalbert said.
“The concern is that animals are being inhumanely slaughtered and experiencing great pain and suffering,” she said.
Animal rights activist Sharon O’Horgan said some people viewed live animals as a budget meal.
“A living sheep costs about $30-$40, making it cheap meat,” she said.
* Ameer Ali makes the usual BS apologies:
Vice president of the Regional Islamic Council, Dr Ameer Ali, said Muslims should not be slaughtering animals in backyards.
“They should take them to the abattoir like it is done in Australia – and they should not drag the animals, but treat them kindly,” he said.