Bahrain to fulfill Ashoora meat demand
Manama, November 3, 2012
Bahrain's main meat importer has pledged there will be enough supplies in the market to cover the forthcoming religious events of Ashoora.
The Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC) has 9,000 live sheep in stock and is also importing chilled meat to cover what it labelled a "peak season", a report in the Gulf Daily News said.
A total of 26,000 live sheep were imported in the days leading up to Eid Al Adha.
Of those around a third remain and BLC chairman Ibrahim Zainal said he was confident there would be adequate supplies for Ashoora later this month.
"From the 26,000 (sheep imported), 15,500 were consumed this Eid and about 8,000 to 9,000 are left which will be consumed in the coming days," he told our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.
"Usually Ashoora is the peak season for meat. We will have adequate supplies of chilled meat from different origins that will be enough for the festival."
He declined to comment on when the next shipment of live sheep would be imported, where it would be imported from and whether Australia was expected to lift restrictions on livestock exports to Bahrain.
The GDN reported last week that a decision to turn away a shipment of almost 21,000 live sheep at the end of August could jeopardise future imports of Australian livestock.
Sources said an animal welfare clause was breached when authorities in Bahrain blocked unloading of the sheep, which resulted in them spending too long at sea before being delivered to Pakistan - where some were allegedly stabbed and clubbed to death.
It was reported at the time that the animals were infected with Orf disease, but tests by a British lab later certified them as safe for human consumption.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners programme is now conducting its own investigation into the ill-fated sheep shipment for a show due to air on Monday.
Butchers in Muharraq went on strike in the days leading up to Eid Al Adha due to an absence of livestock in the market.
They called it off just two days before Eid after authorities started distributing 26,000 live sheep for slaughter.
The same butchers had previously threatened to go on strike over the absence of livestock and the reliance on chilled meat imports from abroad, which they said was of lower quality and expressed concern that it might not be halal.
Butchers would normally expect to do bumper business during events such as the Eid festival and the forthcoming Ashoora.
Ma'atams across the country traditionally slaughter livestock and distribute food to the public. – TradeArabia News Service
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