The measures include giving special authorizations to butchers who travel to Moroccans’ homes.
The measures include the mobilization of public authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the festivities, said a press release from the ministry on July 17.
Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha (the feast of the sacrifice), also known as Eid el-Kebir (the large feast) for Moroccans, by purchasing livestock, usually sheep, slaughtering them, and donating a part of their meat.
The religious feast usually represents an opportunity for families and friends to gather. However, with COVID-19 still threatening public health, large gatherings remain banned in Morocco.
To ensure the celebrations take place in safe conditions, the Ministry of the Interior will give out authorizations to professional butchers after they undergo COVID-19 tests.
The move aims to prevent the spread of the virus when butchers visit households to slaughter livestock.
The Ministry of the Interior will coordinate the initiative with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the press release said.
Local authorities will also provide authorized butchers with the necessary equipment to comply with preventive measures, such as protective face masks and disinfectants.
The ministry called on citizens to only hire butchers who have received authorization from local authorities. Consulting unauthorized butchers could threaten the safety of Moroccans and their families, the press release concluded.
Economic benefits in rural areas
While many Moroccans believe that the government should have canceled the feast due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions on families, the Ministry of Agriculture explained that the religious event is a major financial stimulus for families living in rural areas.
According to the ministry, Eid al-Adha generates an average income of MAD 12 billion ($1.25 billion) for Moroccan families in rural areas.
The sales of livestock and their feed, as well as other materials used during the feast, such as coal, transfer a significant amount of funds from Morocco’s urban areas to the rural world, the ministry said.
Preparations for Eid al-Adha from the Ministry of Agriculture’s side include the identification and tagging of eight million sheep to be sold for the religious ceremony.
The National Office for Sanitary Security of Food Products (ONSSA) tags the sheep after monitoring their feed, medication, and vaccines.