Bahrain Butchers Face Customers’ Ire after Govt Put Limits on Sales

| 26/08/2009 | Reply

MANAMA — Butchers at Bahrain’s central markets
have been facing the wrath of customers nowadays after the government
imposed a ban on selling more than 7kg of meat per customer during
Ramadan.

Most
Bahrainis prefer to buy fresh meat in bulk and feel upset if their
request is turned down by butchers as they are not aware of the
instructions from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

“The ministry should publish the decision in newspaper to save us troubles,” a butcher Majeed Al Hulabi said on Monday.

The
problem of butchers doesn’t end here however. The government has
started providing frozen meat for sale to meet the shortage of fresh
meat. Al Hulabi told Khaleej Times that many costumers are reluctant to buy frozen meat as they are not sure if it is halal.

The
shortage has occurred despite assurances from the authorities that
supply will meet the demand, with the Bahrain Livestock Company
announcing in the beginning of August that 114,000 livestock have been
allocated for the month.

“We
have many problems that should be addressed as regaining the trust of
costumers is a hard task,” Ali Al Hakoor, a butcher at the Muharraq
Central Market told Khaleej Times on Monday. “Our major problem
is that our daily supply of meat finishes within hours and we are left
with nothing for the rest of the day.”

Al
Hakoor said butchers were sometime forced to sell only two kilos per
customer to make sure all of them get some meat. “So many times angry
customers shouted at me thinking that I’m hiding the supply to sell it
in the black market.”

One
angry customer went overboard when she dragged a health inspector who
came to check the hygiene of the market all the way and brought him to
Al Hakoor to check if he had red meat or not. “I was clueless what to
do as I didn’t want to fight with a lady, but her accusations made me
feel sad.”

Citizens
and residents of Bahrain prefer red meat because it is subsidised by
the government and 1kg can be bought for BD1. Chicken meat is not
subsidised as well as fish that is being sold for BD2.5 per kg.

Butcher
at Manama Central Market Yousif Huwahi hopes that the company would
fulfil its promises by supplying 114,000 heads for Ramadan.

He said he and his colleagues at the market closed their shops at 11am as after that they were left with nothing to sell.?shamada@Khaleejtimes.ae

Category: Meat & Poultry, Middle East & Africa

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