Eidul Azha and Pakistan’s hygiene issue

Published: October 7, 2014

People usually throw away slaughter waste near their homes without thinking about the associated health risks. PHOTO: FILE

A few days ago, the cattle markets began receiving a huge number of people every hour, coming from different parts of the city, to buy the sacrificial animal that suited their budget and met their needs convincingly.

Different animals, ranging from cows and goats to camels, were seen almost everywhere, albeit on a street or a former empty, barren piece of land.

Animals were tied to posts almost every step of the way. And we all know, where there is a herd of cattle, there is a foul smell taking over the air. The city started to look, and smell, like a farm. And just like the hygiene standards of a farm, there weren’t enough health measures being taken – something that is questioned frequently in our country.

According to reports, around one million animals were estimated to be slaughtered in Karachi alone on Eid last year. When it comes to health, we are the most negligible people around. Our government is also equally irresponsible.

Due to unavailability of free areas or grounds where animals can be kept secured from theft, people are resorted to tying these animals as close as possible. And that means either keeping them in their homes or outside their streets. Due to this, many of us are in constant contact with farm animals, which is unhealthy and unhygienic.

We do not realise that being in close contact with such animals increases our chances of catching the Congo virus, which is extremely deadly and the death rate for the disease is quite high.

But this is not where things go bad. Things get worse once the slaughtering starts.

In 2012, the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) disposed of 28,000 tonnes of animal waste, at four dumping sites, during the three days of Eidul Azha. Once the animal has been sacrificed, people throw away slaughter waste wherever convenient without even thinking twice.

An expert at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Dr Seemin Jamali, said that people usually throw away the offal near their homes without thinking about the associated health risks.

“Animals such as rats, vultures, cats and dogs feed on the waste and make the disposal site a breeding ground for a multitude of diseases. People should think twice before throwing entrails outside their houses,” she warned.

Some people conveniently just discard the waste at the nearest empty ground or outside their homes, hoping that some ‘waste management company’ will take care of it.They should know that no waste management is going to take place. They need to take care of it themselves.

In United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other developed countries, the slaughtering procedure is done in a well-maintained and hygienic environment, where all they need to do is to take their animals (sometimes even that is taken care of) to the slaughter house and get them cut in a clean, healthier way. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, such a concept is alien to the people.

At the end of the first day of Eidul Azha this year, all I saw everywhere was blood and slaughter waste and it disgusted me terribly. As a child, I refused to eat meat simply because of the ‘sacrifices’ and ‘remains’ I had seen outside everywhere.

In Karachi, with a population of around 18 million, we already have enough issues to worry about and fear. The last thing we need to add on to the chart is a hygiene issue. That being said, where there is a will, there is a way. All is not lost.

This situation can improve and get better if every individual takes responsibility on himself, being a citizen of this country, and carries out the slaughtering process in a civilised and educated manner.

People who wish to carry out slaughtering at their homes should discard the waste and remains in a well-organised manner. The government should also do its part and implement waste management procedures whereby people can bag the waste, which can then be collected by waste trucks from outside people’s homes.

Bloody roads, animal skin and unwanted organs with flies hovering around is not only a disgusting sight but extremely unhygienic. Why does one want to invite a disease knowingly when some simple steps can ensure a happy, clean and hygienic Eid for you and your family to enjoy?

Anonymous J

Anonymous J

The blogger wishes to remain anonymous.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ModiFied

    Its just matter of time when some major disease will outbreak in Pakistan. Even Hindus used to sacrifice animals. However, this has all stooped and considered inhumane. Time for Muslims to revisit this practice.Recommend

  • genesis

    It is horrifying to read the report and one can only imagine when you physically encounter these offal.Eating meat is unhealthy and to that cocktail add the vultures,scavengers,rats,dogs who will happily spread disease from which even God will run!Recommend

  • Ansh

    millions of poor animals killed. i wonder how God would be pleased by such ritual!Recommend

  • mughees

    Your context was not actually in line with the title, no offense.Recommend

  • Guest

    I hope people of Pakistan, especially Karachi, buy this idea!Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Awww to be ‘young’ once again and write idealist articles in news papers … Been there done that dear . Don’t want to sound negative my love , but not much will come out of such articles.Recommend

  • cefspan

    it’s the government’s fault
    you don’t see people in uae slaughtering animls on streets, so calling the festive day itself as nothing but pool of blood is pretty much of an ignorant thingRecommend

  • Confused

    I fail to understand the moral of the story. Should we stop practicing this Eid altogether or just until we implement the U A E model ? Because if this article was truly about educating us about the dangers of leaving the waste outside our homes, then the writer would have made an effort to share some practical ways of disposing off the wastage– which she clearly didn’t do. The writer has also failed to identify the true culprits for “making this eid as nothing but a pool of blood”. I mean, shouldn’t this be the government’s responsibility? Edhi is already doing bulk of government’s work. Maybe he needs to expand his list of services. And what does the writer really mean by saying that she, as a child, stopping consuming meat because of quote unquote sacrifices. Again, are you making this islamic ritual or our response to it. The quote unquote is mischievously devilish. Sigh. What a waste of space. Only at tribune.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Religion when not explained properly…….makes one do stupid things.Recommend

  • yuk

    All the results of poor municipal management…in India we can see mounds of ‘vegetarian’ garbage & in Pakistan,’non-veg’ garbage. Wonder what the municipalities do with their budgets. If govt.s/preventive medicine, can implement nation wide vaccination programmes successfully,wonder why they can’t come up with proper plans for garbage disposal & recycling..Recommend

  • Ahmed

    I think the ”
    Eidul Azha is nothing but a pool of blood” is wrong name of this topic. By saying this you giving a wrong message to all. If any individual or group doing wrong then you should not say this festival is wrong. I hope correction should be made.Recommend

  • LS

    Government is like a lethargic human who likes to sit and eat. Help yourselves, collaborate with the locals in your area highlight the issue, show data that why the current way of disposal is bad for health and how to dispose of the innards by burying them or electrically incinerator (if one is available) with appropriate govt. approvals. Be the change you want to bring in society…Recommend

  • Mir Ali Naqi Talpur

    Eid ul Azha is what it is. WE as a civilization have failed. This is what it is !Recommend

  • mlk

    Both the Government and people have to play their part to get it done properly.
    Hopefully In NAYA PAKISTAN , we will have better waste management strategies.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    The author in this case is very inexperienced I am sure he gave unintentionally a wrong title to this story . The title of this story slammed whole Festival. However, if any individual or group not following Islam then it is not fault of religion. Recommend

  • Ghostrider

    Gos is indifferent about it because he did not create man as a vegetarianRecommend

  • Ghostrider

    Why do you think Muslims would take cue from Hinduism when it comes to Eid… This is the way it has been and this is the way it will be…its just that people of sub continent need to larn the basic concepts of hygieneRecommend

  • Ahmed

    Millions of animals are killed everyday in forms of chicken, lamb and cows which people eat at restaurants. The whole world does it. God is pleased when people spend money to buy the animals and then distribute the meat with relatives and the poor.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    It has been doing on for centuries now. Nothing major has happened and IA nothing will. Lets let time decide.Recommend

  • Fighter Man

    You do not know more than God so better to keep your mouth shut.Recommend

  • Confused Writer

    Slogan and context are not in line at All. Even the meaning and conclusion from context is vague.Article Writer is confused..Recommend

  • Khan

    Then it’s upto the civil department to get there act together and people to wise up and not dump waste where it seems convenient. As for UAE if you had actually been there you would know that the locals do this in their homes and not at the facility centre. If you don’t want to participate in Eid that’s your choice but please you have no rite at taking away that from others. Please stick to your vegetables and to the Hindus we love our meat but it’s not that that reaches the Lord.Recommend

  • Khan

    I have Recommend

  • Critical

    So u litter waste all around and then blame the govt for not cleaning it up….

    Sacrificing an animal seemed ok back in 7th century when the population was less and land was plenty to dispose and so many scavengers around…

    Back in those days,Everyone had a Ganesh idol at home which they immersed in the river…But look at the environmental reasons,they started having one for an entire colony and in some cases,they use a metallic one which they immerse and then take it back home….

    Why cant people tweak the religious ceremonies for the sake of environment and public health???Recommend

  • Taimoor Iqbal

    Hindus bathe in a river that has animals and sewage running through it. The fact is animals are slaughtered worldwide, there is a hygienic and a non hygienic way to do it. We are the latter, but getting lectured by indians on hygiene is the last thing we need. Don’t tell us to change our religion just because we don’t follow it properly.Recommend

  • Hameed

    ET, your habit of changing the article’s name just went through the roof. Congratulations for giving the title that matches nowhere near the point of the article.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Pray tell why India, of the all the places in the world, is the largest exporter of beef .Recommend

  • Zee

    Dear! Author is confused as the title is totally different from the what she want to convey in her blog. We don’t want tweaking in religion rather a proper setup to address the issues of improper slaughtering and disposal etd.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Your comments are usually positive and motivational……but when you say you don’t want to sound negative and then in the same breath say nothing much will come out of such articles………you are being negative.
    Articles like this need to be written and if even one person is convinced of the writers views, its a step in the right direction.Recommend

  • waqas

    I second that. I opened the page just to thrash the auther but story is different than the title. I think we have been so laid back and for so long that now we are immune to changeRecommend

  • religion police

    Barbaric practices.Wake up guys be civilised. Be vegan. Animals have equal rights as you do.you have brain to grow vegetables and live differently not like apes.Recommend

  • Dante

    Why do you think God would be pleased with a lion killing a zebra too?

    Or you squashing cockroaches in your bathroom.

    Besides it’s “sacrifice”, not “kill”. A lot of animals get sacrificed for experiments too (translational research, basic science). Ever imagine what it feels like knocking out a gene in a mouse and letting it live through its life with a horrible genetic disease?Recommend

  • Faulitics


  • Henna Jatoi

    Finally somebody understoodRecommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Because our genius editors at Tribune who love to make every thing controversial choose the “Topics” chose the topic. I also think tht the topic and material are different…the Author has 100% some other headline which is edited by Tribune like always…!!!Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    Eidul Azha is nothing but a pool of blood;
    Please go ahead and have deep nose dive in it,Recommend

  • Secular & Practical

    Hahaha.That’s a very interesting observation. But you do know that it’s not a muslim majority country,unlike Pakistan-but a hindu majority country where cows are revered. Being a beef exporter is a business decision – esp.since cows are meant to be revered-its very clear that beef export is solely a financial decision & the slaughter has nothing to do solely with religious sentiments,like the Bakrid slaughter.
    Personally,I think it speaks for the secular nature of a country & it’s Constitution where religion/emotion of the majority isn’t allowed at all to interfere in export,business,financial or practical decisions- a complete separation of religion & state. Recommend

  • HADY

    Ma’am Hina,
    Being with or touching these animals doesn’t make anyone suffer from any chronic disease.
    P.S. these animals are also brought up by humans not machines, and I am sure you haven’t met anyone from that class.Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Well , I , for one don’t advocate non vegetarianism. I am a vegetarian myself but people are free to eat what they feel like as long they ‘kill’ the animal quickly or stun it while killing. The debate here is not about eating animals , its about disposing the waste like perhaps bones , hair etc., which are raw and throbbing and are a easy prey to bacteria / fungus / diseases if left in the open. There is no need to bring religion in this .Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Err … I meant its the government’s duty for disposal of waste like big dust bins or digging and ‘storing’ them and turn them into manure etc., The general public should also be ‘educated’ on this issue .Recommend

  • Henna Jatoi

    title, to be honest, is changed by ET. go thrash themRecommend

  • Swapnakant Samal

    Man has created God or concepts of GodRecommend

  • Critical

    As someone pointed out,UAE doesnt allow public slaughter…So if an Arab country can do that…Why not another muslim country??? The sacrifice of an animal is a symbolic gesture just like immersing an idol in a waterbody….

    So if a Hindu decides to use a metallic idol and reuse it next year so that the river need not be polluted..simialrly muslims can buy a goat/buffalo for an entire mosque ,sacrifice in a designated area and distribute a token piece to everyone and then dispose the waste….

    If mosques could incorporate loud speakers in them,then y cant this be possible???Recommend

  • saswath

    boss scores of humans being killed by Isis goons who have same mentality and no one cry a bit and you are asking about poor animals…leave it man, they won’t listenRecommend

  • saswath

    good logic sir keep it up…we humans have liberty to kill all and decide their fate based on our own perception… and this same logic we pass to our next generation..goodRecommend

  • saswath

    so if you have regrets writing here ..please do not do so again for ET.Recommend


    It is hard to argue with the author because anyone who has lived or lives in Pakistan knows this is true. Everyone should take the responsibility of keeping their streets and neighborhoods clean. To say the least, the only way to counter this problem is through collective efforts.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOMRecommend

  • Ram

    Education is suppose to enable us to think rationally and question certain age old rituals and practices. A progress in society is not about having cellphones and computers but learning from past mistakes and adopt to the new world and become a better human being.

    However looking at these comments I see that we are producing uneducated graduates withRecommend

  • hare

    vegetables also have equal rights..Recommend

  • gp65

    The beef exported is mostly buffalo meat not cow meat – fyi.Recommend

  • gp65

    Slaughtering in a slaughterhouse which follows all norms is different from slaughtering publicly in each street with small kids observing that.Recommend

  • gp65

    Did she say she has regrets? But when so many people are giving her a hard time for a title which she did not choose, she can surely express relief when someone understands that it was not she who picked the title.Recommend

  • gp65

    SLogan is not by author. ET has changed her title. The content of the blog is by aithor. There appears to be no confustion in what the author wants to communicateRecommend

  • gp65

    The author did not give this title. ET changed the title she gave. The author has already clarified that.Recommend

  • gp65

    Why are you dragging Hindus in your comment?Recommend

  • siesmann

    as long as people are working towards the UAE model,it might be OK;are people in Pakistan? or more importantly,will they?Are UAE arabs less muslim then Pakistanis for doing that?Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Agreed. But I only replied to the comment made by ModiFied where he did not mention anything about “slaughtering publicly in each street with small kids observing that”.Recommend

  • Kran Straw

    The same can be said for human beings being killed for money, for political gain and even for food. So, killing another human being can be justified too?Recommend

  • religion police

    I have no issues against religions. But if some one says we have been doing it for centuries doesn’t make it right. We as a human race grow as the civilisation advances. We have advanced from caves to the mansions. Some areas of the world have morphed from candle light to electric lights motor vehicles from donkeys etc. Why can’t we be less barbaric?Recommend

  • Sajid Ali

    The Farms are the places which do provide us with dairies and other products we tens to eat daily. This was the life and is the life in Villages before the modernized society. It a holy Occasion and every persons wishes to scarifies their animal by their on. The slaughter house culture is far away from our society. If a person is such conscious about animal slaughtering and their being in the city premisses they should move to moon. They can bear a DOG & CAT in their house but not a sheep, goat or camel.Recommend