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The sacrifice is one of the rituals of the pilgrimage to Makkah and it is agreed upon by all sects, and the sacrificial animal is a camel, cow, sheep or goat, with specific specifications and free from defects, in addition to other conditions and matters that there is no space to mention.
For more than a thousand years, the Hajj season was a feast for the people of Makkah, but centuries on and the increase in the number of pilgrims, the slaughter of sacrifices became a serious health and environmental tragedy and a great waste due to the inability to make use of the sacrificial meat in a reasonable manner, and therefore a large part of it was buried or is burnt due to the difficulty of transporting it to other places and countries as it requires logistical preparations that were not available especially in poor countries, such as planes, refrigerated trucks and distribution lines.
It was necessary to find a solution, especially after the number of pilgrims reached millions and the consequent increase in the need for sacrifices, and to face the problem of piling them on top of each other during the days of sacrifice, especially during summer when the weather is very hot.
Therefore, the Saudi authorities decided in the mid-1980s, to establish the “Kingdom Project to Benefit from the Sacrifices” with the aim of making good use of the sacrificial meat on the one hand, and facilitating the process of slaughter on behalf of millions of pilgrims, an almost impossible task on the other.
The project which was established nearly 30 years ago is subjected to veterinary tests to ascertain it is free of Sharia defects. The institution also imports a large number of sacrificial animals and puts them in suitable pens, and asks pilgrims to buy ‘sacrifice coupons’ from specific outlets, so that each pilgrim can perform his ritual without having to buy his sacrifice and takes over the slaughter work because of the impossibility for the majority the pilgrims, especially the simple educated, where every 30 pilgrims are allowed to authorize someone on their behalf to buy the coupon, and follow up the slaughter process electronically.
Despite objections that the coupon project encountered in the beginning, the idea was subsequently accepted after the issuance of fatwas permitting it, especially after certain groups preferred to buy their sacrifices and supervise their slaughter in specific slaughterhouses.
I recently learned from the last climate conference held in Scotland, that our way of life has the greatest impact on the climate, and that it is necessary to reduce the consumption of meat. This is an increase in the production of agricultural pesticides and the need for farms sometimes to expel indigenous people and poor farmers from their lands which can be used to grow fodder.
By Ahmad alsarraf