Dubai municipality unveils online meat purchasing service

Dubai municipality unveils online meat purchasing service
Seeking to impose standards on the meat used for various Muslim festivals and traditions, the Dubai municipality is promoting a new web application called Al Mawashi that residents can use to preorder meat from government slaughterhouses.

The app is part of a greater program to enforce government rules against the use of street butchers and the practice of home butchering for sacrificial festivals like the feast days that happen in the latter part of the Islamic calendar.

Officials say the application will reduce wait times, which is one reason residents decide to go to street butchers in the first place, according to a Nov. 18 article in Gulf News Health.

The municipality first launched Al Mawashi during the festival of Eid Al-Adha in September; it also premiered at the Dubai International Animal Feed and Pet Safety Conference earlier this year.

In a press statement, Ali Al Hammadi, head of the Abattoirs Section, said the app will “ease services and save people's time.”

Government officials have been worried about the spread of infectious disease ADD without some kind of universal standard, and the app represents a part of developing modern governmental services to provide meat for important Islamic traditions.

What does the online ordering of sacrificial meat mean for a tradition with hundreds of years of practice in such a large cultural and religious community?

Mike Toney holds a master's degree in international business, with a concentration on the Middle East. A U.S. military veteran, Toney also authored "Liberty of Nations: 10 Ways to Make America More Safe and Secure."
 
“The animal has to be killed in a ritualistic manner,” Toney said. “It’s unsurprising that the government would not want people to be doing this at home.”

Such a service would also exclude pork as part of the Islamic halal dietary standard.

“Mohamed was a forward thinker in that regard,” Toney said.

As for the government’s move to regulate slaughtering, he believes the CDC should support this effort to decrease food-borne illness.

In general, Toney said, government standards for the ritual slaughtering represent the kinds of change that are a natural progression in modern societies: rules and regulations that would have been unfathomable before the advent of refrigeration.

“There’s a movement where a more nomadic existence in the UAE is changing into a more established, less pastoral society,” he said, citing migration toward cities and other aspects of globalization and modern life that would necessitate these kinds of rules.

In general, the types of innovations happening around the government’s modern slaughter initiatives reflect the ways that age-old traditions remain “living cultures.”

“The Koran is as much a way of life as it is a religious text,” Toney said.

Reports on the Al Mawashi app show that the government is working to expand its use and include additional options for sourced meats, in order to give users more of a selection.
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