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DOHA: Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Central Livestock Market abattoirs on the first day of Eid Al Adha here yesterday as people at times jostled with one another to get their sheep slaughtered for sacrifice.
More than 5,000 sheep — mostly Australian — were slaughtered during the day at the automatic as well as manual abattoirs of the central market as people began crowding the place right after Eid prayers.
The abattoirs are managed and operated by Qatar Meat and Livestock Company (Mawashi), which was accused by people for not making shaded enclosures as waiting areas.
People, including women and children, could be seen standing for long hours waiting for their sheep to be slaughtered for sacrifice so they could carry the meat home. Many people complained of nausea as a strong stench of sheep hung in the air around.
The chaos was made worse with a number of illegal porters having descended on the market to take advantage of the situation as people needed their services to carry the sheep for slaughter from the point of purchase and later transfer the meat to their waiting vehicles.
Few licenced porters and huge crowds of people waiting to get sheep slaughtered encouraged the unlicenced, not-uniformed porters to quote rates at will. The demand for the porters was so much that the going rate at one time reached even QR200 per sheep as against the municipality-approved carriage rate of QR15.
The Public representative body, the Central Municipal Council (CMC), cried foul, claiming that many of the illegal porters were runaway workers and needed to be nabbed.
“Many of these illegal workers were actually runaway workers. There was no official monitoring so they had a field day,” CMC chief Saud Al Hanzab said.
Meanwhile, Mawashi refused to allow customers to take live Australian sheep to other slaughter houses and made it mandatory for any such sheep sold by it to be slaughtered at one of its central market-based abattoirs.
This is because, the company said, it had signed an agreement with the Australian government not to permit a buyer to carry Australian sheep out of their premises as a respect for animal rights.
The demand for Australian sheep was high this year, particularly because the prices of other sheep have been soaring beyond QR1,400 and QR1,500. An Australian sheep was, on the other hand, sold by Mawashi for between QR300 and QR350 depending on its weight.