Somaliland is expected to export more than 800,000 livestock to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj.
The animals are en route to Saudi Arabia for use as sacrificial offerings for millions of Muslims making the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is the only institution authorized to run the Adahi program overseeing animal sacrifice during Hajj is said to be the buyer.
Veterinarians will check the livestock thoroughly to ensure compliance with health regulations in two local quarantines facilities situated in the port city of Berbera .
Sixty percent of Somaliland’s gross domestic product — the value of all its goods and services — come from livestock sales to the Middle East. So do 70 percent of its jobs.
The animals, once sold in the markets, are taken by truck to the Red Sea port of Berbera. There, they wait in quarantine for weeks while they receive blood tests and vaccinations.
In the past, accusations of disease among Somaliland livestock led Saudi Arabia to temporarily ban imports of its animals.