KARACHI  - The method of sacrificing animals by individuals on Eidul Azha has remained a common practice for years in Pakistan, but this year a new trend of ‘mass sacrifices’ is being termed a latest way to mitigate environmental pollution with a blow to contain the coronavirus.

The mass sacrifice policy of the federal government will help mitigate the environmental pollution, says Babar Khan, Director of Wildlife, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Pakistan.  ‘Mass Sacrifice is a perfect step and our religion also advises us for the same. It could pave the easy way for disposing of the offal in a proper manner.’

On the occasion of Eidul Azha also known as Eid-e-Qurban, the Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismael (a.s) as an act of obedience to God’s command, the people in Pakistan sacrifice animals in a large number and they are used to through the offal, entrails and internal organs of animals, on streets and roads, but this time the right decision of the federal government in view of the Covid-19 would also help prevent the environment from further deterioration, the expert said.

The offal, animal waste, usually reeks of foul smell if it is not properly disposed of after sacrificing animals in big numbers on Eidul Azha.  The quantity of small and big animals’ waste material matters which became the cause of environmental disaster if it is not properly lifted and disposed of at landfill sites.

Government has taken steps to organise mass sacrifices at ‘specific places’ under SOPs and guidelines

Babar Khan said the main problem pops up when the people on their part do not properly dispose of the offal, dung and blood of the sacrificial animals and that flow through drainage lines which ends up in nullah and later on the same flow towards sea.  The expert said the season of monsoon rains is running and in this situation the people will have to be careful as the blood of animals and their offal could mix with rains and become cause of big environmental disaster.

The offal’s flow towards sea pollutes and creates aquatic ecosystem issues. It overall damages aquatic resources. The expert said that the offal has 80 to 90 percent organic material and it can be utilized for manure and purposes but Karachi does not have that arrangement in place. To escape from the spread of foul smell, diseases and environmental pollution, the best way is to properly dispose of the offal at landfill sites.

The disposition of animals waste on Eid days has always been a big challenge for the authorities concerned in the country.  This time keeping in view the spread of Covid-19, the federal government has formulated a policy to promote ‘Mass Sacrifices’ in the country to contain the coronavirus, and it has also advised the provincial governments to work on it. The Sindh government has announced to adhere to the policy of the federal government, which has been appreciated by the experts.

The provincial government has taken steps to organize mass sacrifices at ‘Specific Places’ under the Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines given by the federal government. The individuals in line with the guidelines will sacrifice the animals at specific places at Union Council (UC) level.

All the Deputy Commissioners, Municipal Commissioners (MCs) and Municipal Representatives (MRs) in Sindh will take steps to prevent the trend of individual sacrifice of animals under mutual strategy. The Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) will collect the offal from designated sites in Karachi and dispose them of at the landfill sites. The people have been advised to do distance qurbani through Edhi, Mosques, NGOs, or other registered organizations.