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Chicken shortage expected as slaughterers vacation

Agriculture Ministry warns shoppers fresh poultry will be hard to come by during Muslim holiday next week

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. Chickens for sale. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative. Chickens for sale. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

Israelis looking to buy fresh chicken next week may be fresh out of luck, the Agriculture Ministry warned Sunday.

Due to a holiday, many of the country’s Muslim poultry slaughterers will be unable to work, leading to an expected shortage between September 12 and 16, the ministry said.

“The ministry recommends that [members of the public] interested in purchasing fresh chicken between September 12 to 16 plan accordingly,” it said.

The holiday will not affect the supply of frozen chicken, a spokesperson for the government office said.

Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, commemorates the willingness of the patriarch Abraham, or Ibrahim in the Muslim tradition, to sacrifice his son and God’s intervention that stopped the slaughter.

According to the Muslim faith, Abraham’s almost-sacrificed son was Ishmael, while in Judaism, it is Isaac.

The Muslim holiday, which this year starts the evening of September 11, lasts through that night and for the next four days.

Some of the slaughterhouse employees will return to work beginning on September 16, while the rest will “fully return to action on September 18,” the Agriculture Ministry said.

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