Qurbani 2023 – Consumer Information

Qurbani 2023 – Consumer Information

Key actions for consumers

  1. What Qurbani means for Muslims

In Islam, Qurbani is an act of worship following in the footsteps of Prophet Abraham (PBUH). Qurbani, meaning sacrifice, is symbolic of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son to God. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said that there are blessings for every fibre of wool or every strand of hair of the sacrificed animal.

Qurbani is not a trivial action. It is THE most beloved act of Ibadah for Allah swt during the days of Tashreek (the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah). Animals are allocated to specific pre-designated consumers at or before the point of slaughter since the act is being done on behalf of the consumer.

It is traditional for a third of the meat from the animal to be donated to those in need such as the vulnerable or poor. A further third is kept by the family with the final third shared amongst friends, family and neighbours.

2. What makes Qurbani invalid


The animal must be healthy, not lame. Lambs must be baligh (post puberty) and at least six months old. The bigger and more expensive the animal the greater the reward. Small animals, such as sheep, lambs and goat, count for 1 Qurbani whereas large animals, such as camels and cattle, count for 7 Qurbanis.

Be safe, only pick good quality older animals that qualify for Qurbani. 


The slaughterer must perform Eid salah before any valid Qurbani slaughter can take place.

The act of Qurbani can only begin after Eid prayers on the day of Eid al-Adha. Therefore, the earliest Qurbani slaughter can be conducted approximately 45 minutes after sunrise in the abattoir’s location. According to 2023 (1443 H) calendar, prescribed times for Qurbani on 1st Dhul Hijja are listed below:

At or after 5.30 am in slaughterhouses located in the north

At or after 6.10am in slaughterhouses located in the south

At or after 5.40am in slaughterhouses located in the midlands

Zabiha (slaughter) performed BEFORE these times are NOT a valid Qurbani, and the resulting meat is classed as normal halal meat not Qurbani. Slaughterhouses are allowed to dispatch Qurbani carcasses before fully chilling them (see below) but all operators are required to attach a label with the carcass showing the time and date of Zabiha on it. Consumers must request their butcher to keep and provide them with their Qurbani label (that the butcher receives from the slaughterhouse) with their meat.


3. FOOD SAFETY: Supplying Qurbani carcasses without full chilling 

UK legislation requires abattoirs to chill carcases and offal to temperatures of 7°C and 3°C, respectively, before despatch. However many Muslims want to follow in the footsteps of Prophet Mohammed pbuh and have their Qurbani as soon as possible. Muslim and meat industry representatives have worked with the Food Standards Agency to agree industry-led mitigations to enable the supply of preordered Qurbani carcases that have not been chilled to the required legal temperature directly to the final consumer or via butchers acting as the consumer’s agents.

Where consumers receive carcasses not fully chilled they must follow the HANDLING AND COOKING YOUR QURBANI SAFELY’ consumer guide.

Following on from the 2022 Food Standards Agency consultation on whether Muslim consumers would like to see legislation amended to facilitate quick collection of Qurbani meat from the slaughterhouse the FSA released a further survey for 2023 titled as Qurbani 2023 Consumer Engagement.

Complete the FSA Qurbani 2023 Survey: food.gov.uk/QurbaniSurvey

REQUEST: We highly recommend you to complete the FSA Qurbani 2023 survey for Qurbani data collection and register your comments so that Muslims can continue to access Qurbani meat however they wish (provided adequate food safety compensation measures are in place).

It is the responsibility of the food business operator (FBO) to ensure that all meat (and offal) that they produce is safe to go into the food chain posing no risks to those that eat it.

The Partnership Working Group Sub-Group (PWG SG) has agreed that the industry led mitigations previously implemented during Qurbani 2020, 2021 and 2022 will again be implemented during Qurbani 2023 (expected during 28 June-1 July 2023).    

The mitigations will apply to those slaughterhouse operators and butchers who wish to meet the demand for Qurbani meat and offal as soon as possible after the animal has been slaughtered and are unable to chill the carcase meat to the required core temperature of 7°C (or the applicable surface temperature when carcase meat is partially chilled) due to the lack of time available.

The following mitigations have been developed by the PWG SG over 2020, 2021 & 2022 and must all be implemented in England and Wales prior to / during supply.

The full set of “EID” documents which have been produced by the industry for the direct sales/supply of Qurbani, to guide Food Business Operators (FBOs) participating in the delivery of partially chilled Qurbani carcases directly to consumers or through butchers acting as consumers’ agents are detailed below. These are hosted on the AHDB platform and can be viewed at: https://ahdb.org.uk/halal

4. Use of Qurbani label

The aforementioned mitigations includes the adherence to EID02* (accessible at: https://ahdb.org.uk/halal) stipulating that a Qurbani tag (referred to as Qurbani label) must be attached to the carcass showing date and time of Qurbani zabiha.

See the example of the Qurbani label below:

When you place your order, ask your butcher to save this Qurbani label and keep this for you to collect with your Qurbani meat.

The Qurbani label will have date & time on it, along with the four-digit code of the slaughterhouse that performed it. 

Check if your Qurbani was performed at least 45 minutes after sunrise at the slaughterhouse’s location (see section 2 above). 


5. Nationally recognised and endorsed Qurbani protocol

The date for Qurbani is expected to be Wednesday 28 June (+/-1), subject to moonsighting

Animals – Abattoir responsibility 

Quality: Select quality animals that the Ummah will be proud to offer for The Most‐Merciful. 

Lamb: The volume of 6 month+ lamb available is questionable. Consumers will be advised to preference sheep over lamb as 6 month+ lamb cannot be guaranteed. Where lamb is bought it must, at the very least, be from a trustworthy source, accompanied by a producer declaration attesting to the 6 month+ age criteria, and be at least 40 kg liveweight (or 17 kg carcase deadweight). 

Ordering – Butcher responsibility 

Day of Qurbani: Consumers must be given the option of selecting their Qurbani day. 

Timing ‐ Abattoir responsibility 

Start time: The earliest time an abattoir can start Qurbani slaughter is sunrise plus 4550 minutes at their location. The exact time for any location can be found here: https://moonsighting.com/pray.php

Qurbani carcase label: The time and date must be printed on the Qurbani carcase label. The presumption is that there is something to hide if the time and date is not printed. 

Cutting – Butcher responsibility 

Qurbani carcase label: The abattoir Qurbani carcase label must be supplied with the Qurbani meat so the consumer can have full confidence of the time and date of performance and the reference number that links that carcase meat to their Qurbani order with the abattoir. 

Charity – Joint abattoir and butcher responsibility 

Transparency: The abattoir must communicate the (combined) value of Qurbani by-products not returned to the consumer (e.g. skins, casings, tripe, etc.). 

Accountability: At the time of order, it must be agreed between the abattoir, butcher and consumer who takes the responsibility of making the payment to charity. 

Proof: Where the abattoir or butcher takes partial or full responsibility, they must be able to provide proof, for example, receipt by UK registered charity or bank statement payment, that the amount was donated to charity. This should be completed within one month of Qurbani. 

The above protocol is also hosted at AHDB website titled as “EID08 – Qurbani Protocol for Abattoirs and Butchers” (https://ahdb.org.uk/halal)

6. Reporting Fraud

Anyone selling Qurbani meat which is not Qurbani (for example because it was slaughtered before Eid Salah) can be reported to the FSA’s Food Crime Unit for misrepresentation or mislabelling/falsification. See reference 4 below.

7. Charity meat for Halal Food Banks

All meat donated/supplied to food banks MUST BE FULLY CHILLED ALONG THE COLD CHAIN. The mitigations listed in section 4 above DO NOT APPLY TO MEAT DONATIONS.

The proceeds of any sale of the Qurbani animal (e.g. skin, casings, tripe etc.) must be donated to charity.

See useful resources below:

  1. Watch quick AHDB Qurbani video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD0mpt_PqK8.
  2. Handling and cooking your Qurbani safely: See Qurbani Consumer Leaflet
  3. Read the AHDB booklet on Understanding the Qurbani Market
  4. Reporting Food Fraud (supplying regular Halal meat as Qurbani meat). Report to FSA’s Food Crime Unit for any fraud matters such as misrepresentation or mislabelling/falsification: 


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