Austrian farmer horrified by sheep slaughter in fields


From the Austrian edition of The Local

An Alpine farmer in Styria who agreed to lend a Turkish friend his field for a month to graze sheep was horrified when he discovered they were being ritually sacrificed.Under Austrian law the killing of sheep has to take place in official slaughterhouses but the sheep in the field in Styria simply had their throats cut and were left to die.

Horrified locals raised the alarm with police, who rushed to the area to stop the massacre and managed to save 52 of the 131 sheep that had been put in the field.

The other 79 had already been slaughtered as part of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, also known as the Sacrifice Feast, which is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year and considered the holier of the two. Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best animals as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son to God.

The unnamed farmer said he had no idea that was what was going to happen to the sheep he had allowed to graze in his field, and police are now carrying out an investigation over allegations of animal cruelty.

A police spokesman said that it appeared the sheep had been killed without anaesthesia, in accordance with the Muslim tradition of halal slaughtering. The carotid arteries of the animals had been severed in order to thoroughly bleed them dry, since the consumption of blood is forbidden in Islam.

Even leaving aside the cruel halal slaughter method the abandonment of most of the animal is so wasteful – I always thought the point was to share the bountiful meat with family and the less fortunate. But this is nothing like Harvest Festival – this is wanton slaughter and waste. 

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