Dubai: Some Egyptians have been unknowingly eating donkey meat. This fact came to light after authorities discovered a farm was being used to slaughter donkeys and dogs, mince their meat and sell it as beef or lamb, local media reported.
Acting upon a tip-off, the country’s regulatory authorities together with security services raided a farm that turned out to be slaughter house for donkeys and dogs in Ismailia Governorate.
Initial inspection revealed the farm had the equipment to hang the slaughtered donkeys, and also refrigerators for preserving meat, in addition to two rooms housing a large numbers of dogs and donkeys awaiting slaughter.
During the raid, authorities seized nearly one ton of donkey meat and its offal.
Earlier last July, Egyptian security authorities arrested a truck driver who was carrying 20 donkeys to be sold to meat factories, which would then sell the meat to restaurants in Cairo ahead of Eid Al Adha. The truck was stopped by a police patrol while it was on its way from Al Fayoum Governorate to Cairo. The driver told police the truck was loaded with sheep to be sacrificed for Eid Al Adha.
A police officer, who insisted on the driver to remove the cover, was surprised to see donkeys instead of sheep.
Investigations with the truck driver revealed that the donkeys would be transported to meat factories in the 6th of October City in Giza Governorate. The driver admitted that the donkey meat was meant to be distributed to restaurants in Cairo during Eid Al Adha.
There have been frequent reports of sale of donkey meat in Egypt, an illegal trade that has thrived in the populous country.
Over the past few years, Egyptian police and health inspectors seized large quantities of donkey meat being sold as beef or lamb to unsuspecting customers at restaurants across the country. Last year, three shops were closed for selling donkey meat to their customers as beef. The suspects were apparently taking advantage of increasing beef and lamb prices in the country.