Cairo: Saudi authorities have said that around 700,000 heads of cattle have been cleared at the Red Sea port of Jeddah since the start of June in the run-up to the Muslim sacrificial season and Hajj pilgrimage later this month.
The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture added that the livestock were cleared after they had been thoroughly checked at its quarantines at the port in Jeddah, administratively part of the Mecca region.
“Quarantines and labs in Holy Mecca place food safety among their priorities as they work to develop animal wealth and confront infectious diseases threatening it as well as common ailments threatening human and animal health,” the ministry said.
A series of measures are enforced by authorities to shipments of imported livestock including implementation of all steps enshrined in the uniform veterinary system adopted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which Saudi Arabia is a member before clearing the cattle and handing them over to importers.
The ministry said it expects the arrival of 500,000 more heads of cattle within days.
Fighting in Sudan, now in its second month, has driven prices of cattle up in Saudi Arabia in the run-up to the sacrificial season, as the violence in the north-east African country has disrupted supplies to the kingdom.
During Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), Muslims, who can afford it, sacrifice animals such as sheep, goats, camels and cows, honouring the Prophet Ebrahim’s willingness to slay his son Ismael at Allah’s command.
As the Prophet Ebrahim and Ismael showed unwavering obedience to the divine order, Allah sent a ram slaughtered in the son’s stead.
Eid Al Adha is expected to start on June 28 this year.