The number of head of cattle should reach 8 million on the eve of Aid Al Adha, assured the director of food control at the National Office of Food Health Safety (ONSSA), Abdelghani Azzi.
From January 2020, ONSSA, which has a large database where it regularly updates information relating to livestock breeders, began the operation of registering sheep breeding and fattening farms and goats, said Azzi during an interview with the M24 channel of the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP).
The Office began, from April 22, the operation of identifying heads of cattle (sheep and goats) intended for slaughter during Eid Al Adha, with the installation of a loop on the ears of the animal. To date, the number of sheep and goat farming and fattening farms registered has reached 242,000, while the number of cattle checked exceeds 7.2 million and is expected to reach 8 million on the eve of Aid, added the official.
Regarding the marketing of livestock, Mr. Azzi indicated that in addition to the identification and monitoring that takes place throughout the year, ONSSA is carrying out a series of measures as it approaches Aid Al Adha, in particular the control of the feeding of the livestock, its sources and the production units which must be controlled and accredited by the Office.
In addition, the raw materials used and their production methods are subject to control during marketing, in storage units and at points of sale, in addition to control, via the taking of samples, of feed from livestock in breeders, before taking strict action in the event of a violation, he explained.
According to the official, the consumer must ensure that the animal does not suffer from nasal or anal discharge, excessive redness of the eyes, fever in the ears or bloating, in particular of the left flank or the front legs.
The consumer must also ensure the safety and security conditions of the place in which he intends to keep the animal. Concerning families who keep their sheep in a single space, they must respect the sanitary measures relating to the fight against the spread of Covid-19, he warned.
As for the sanitary conditions at the time and after the immolation, Mr. Azzi pointed out that the body and the clothes of the person who will carry out the operation of sacrifice must be clean and that he must respect the sanitary measures of fight against the spread of Covid-19 (wearing a mask and using hydro-alcoholic solutions).
The tools and utensils used must also be disinfected, while the skinning operation must be carried out immediately after slaughtering while paying attention to the color of the carcass, whose natural color is light or dark pink, a- t he affirmed, specifying that if the carcass is dark red or yellowish, it will be necessary to alert the veterinary services ensuring the permanence of the day of Eid.
Regarding the procedure to follow in the event that the animal does not respond to sanitary measures, the director of ONSSA said that the Office has an “information bank” which includes all the data concerning breeders whose herds have been identified, noting that the ONSSA office provides breeders with a guide in which they insert the information and numbers relating to the animals sold, which allows him to trace the initial herder of the herd.
Also and at the time of purchase, the consumer must choose an “identified” beast. This identification consists of a yellow plasticized buckle, with a unique serial number in the form of a sheep’s head with the words “Aïd Al Adha” and a five-pointed star with reference to the national flag. This loop constitutes the communication link between the breeder, the consumer and the ONSSA services, concluded the manager.