SINGAPORE: Sixteen mosques in Singapore are going through two days of audit — starting on Friday — to get approval for sheep slaughter practices during the Islamic Korban ritual.
This will pave the way for them to meet new stringent regulations to secure livestock, which typically comes from Australia, for next year’s Korban.
The audit comes as Muslims gathered at mosques on Friday for Hari Raya Haji.
Minister—in—Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who was at a mosque in Sembawang for prayers and to distribute Korban meat, urged Muslims to prepare for the possibility that Australia may stop exporting animals.
This was also highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his Facebook page. He said both he and Dr Yaacob were initially worried that the Korban ritual in Singapore might be affected by Australia’s stringent new regulations on live sheep exports.
Fortunately, he said, the 16 mosques passed the Australian audits and got the livestock they needed.
About 2,500 sheep arrived on Thursday morning and were sent to the mosques for Friday’s Hari Raya Haji ritual.
Those involved in the ritual have been trained to treat livestock in line with international animal welfare standards.
Singapore and Australia are working out a long—term solution for the supply of sheep for the Korban ritual.
Stricter rules imposed by Australia on the handling of livestock by importing countries, have spelled challenges for Singapore in carrying out the practice.
"The main thing is about the animal welfare, I mean the handling of the animal —— how we bring the animal from the pen and how we slaughter," said Mr Mohd Saat Matari, the chairman of Singapore Mosques Korban Committee.
Dr Yaacob said it is crucial for Singapore to comply with international animal welfare standards.
"I think we have to try and conform as much as possible to the rules and regulations that have been imposed upon us," said Dr Yaacob.
"By doing so, by assuring the Australian authority that we meet their requirements, we will continue to give assurance that we can (continue Korban) in future."
Singapore is also looking for alternative sources of livestock for Korban.
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