Durban - The eThekwini Municipality has given clarity regarding by-laws governing the slaughtering of animals for rituals and religious purposes.
This comes after the ANC Youth League enquired about legislation.
The Sunday Tribune reported that in a now-deleted post, the municipality intended to impose a slaughtering permit for traditional ceremonies.
City spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela said the explanation on municipal platforms about processes to follow when slaughtering for ritual and religious purposes was prompted by numerous enquiries that have been received by the eThekwini Health Unit as a result of the upcoming Eid-al-Adha celebrations.
He said the Municipality recognises and respects communities' traditional, cultural and religious beliefs and does not prohibit activities aligned to such beliefs.
"However, the municipality is required to give effect to national legislation and regulations to ensure the humane slaughter of animals, to safeguard public health and the health of those who consume the meat, to prevent health-related issues and to ensure that such practices are done in the interests of harmony and respect for other peoples’ rights within communities," Mayisela said.
The City said the Red Meat Regulations, 2004, Section 128(2)(a) which refers to religious purposes of the Muslim faith, and 129(1)(a) which refers to indigenous religious or cultural purpose, states that a person must "obtain written permission from the local authority of the area where such a slaughtering will take place."
Mayisela said the applicable Public Health By-law regulates issues relating to the keeping of animals, place of slaughter, permit for the keeping of animals, management of animal waste, fly breeding, and any other public health issues that may occur.
"Neither the Red Meat Regulations, nor the relevant by-laws are new. Officials of the municipality are aware that certain circumstances may lead to applicants not being able to meet the seven-day application period, for example in funerals. In such situations, officials will deal with those applications on their own merit.
“The Health Unit would like to reiterate that it does not charge for any activities relating to the issuing of this permit," Mayisela said.