The mayor of Pilar de la Horadada, Ignacio Ramos, has warned Muslims in the town that they are not allowed to kill animals in their private homes, buildings or any public places. He has said that he wants to prevent such activities from being carried out during the 4 day Islamic holiday of “Eid al-Adha,” which begins on Tuesday. Currently in the town there are about 2,500 residents who follow Islam.
The mayor said that the only building authorised to carry out this activity in the town’s slaughterhouse, the practice being prohibited by legislation elsewhere. The Animal Protection Ordinance of the municipality considers that this type of offences are very serious and carry fines ranging from 600 to 6,000 euros.
Pilar de la Horadada has an important community of Muslim residents, around 2,500 of the total of 25,000 inhabitants. All of them will celebrate the holiday which starts on Tuesday the 21st of August. The mayor said he wants the residents to be absolutely clear about the regulations so that the holiday can take place “without any risks to public health, inconvenience to other residents and to avoid and animal suffering.”
He said that the sacrifice of animals must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 37/2014, which regulates the aspects related to the protection of animals at the time of slaughter.
He emphasized that the celebration of such religious traditions “must be carried out based on strict compliance with the animal health and welfare standards that currently apply”. That is why “the sacrifice of lamb in private homes or in common areas or other public places is prohibited.”
According to the Councilor for Animal Protection, José Francisco Albaladejo, there have been no major problems in respect of this tradition, only “one complaint that ended up on file because of a lack of evidence.”
In fact, according to the president of the Islamic Association Bilal Beno Rabah Pilar de la Horadada, Jamal Loudy, only a few Muslims who celebrate the “Feast of the Lamb” will stay in Pilar de la Horadada, with many of them returning to their countries of origin to celebrate the festivity with their families.
Loudy said that if there was a problem in the past it was only because the families were unaware of the regulation and they now accept that all the sacrifices must made in authorised slaughterhouses and following the “halal rite”, as tradition requires.
The slaughterhouse in Orihuela is one of the most popular in of the province in making this type of sacrifice with hundreds of families in the the Vega Baja procuring the meat of the animals that are sacrificed.