The Upper East Region has resorted to the use of fowls and chicken for to sacrifice for this year’s Eid-ul-Adha festival.
This was a decision taken in the wake of a recent anthrax outbreak that has affected livestock in several communities across the region. The highly contagious bacterial infection, known to be fatal to both animals and humans, has prompted authorities and community leaders to take precautionary measures to safeguard public health.
Instead of sacrificing cows, which are usually the norm during this auspicious occasion, locals have turned to fowls and chickens as a safer alternative.
Traditionally, Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, involves the ritual slaughter of livestock, with cows being the most commonly sacrificed animal. However, given the risk of anthrax transmission, community leaders, in consultation with veterinary experts and health officials, have advocated for an alternative approach this year.
Local livestock farmers have been supportive of the initiative, recognizing the need for preventive measures. Many have taken steps to rear a larger number of fowls and chickens in preparation for the festival, allowing for the continuation of the symbolic sacrifice while prioritizing public health.
Regional Chief Imam for Upper East, Sheikh Umar advised individuals in the region to desist from the sharing of meat as is traditionally done during the festivities.
He also asked the individuals to avoid accepting meat from their peers in an attempt to prevent the onset of anthrax infections.
“We made it clear to our Muslim community that whoever refuses and goes ahead to slaughter animals should consume the meat themselves at their homes and should not bring it to share with others and if someone gives you meat, do not collect it because it is not obligatory,” he said.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new tradition, local authorities and community leaders have organized educational campaigns to raise awareness about anthrax prevention and safe handling of poultry. These initiatives aim to equip individuals with knowledge about the symptoms of anthrax and encourage immediate reporting of suspected cases to the relevant health authorities.