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At the cow wash: Pakistanis scrub Eid animals at car cleaners

Sheikh Sagheer washes a cow for a customer at his car service station
Sheikh Sagheer washes a cow for a customer at his car service station Rizwan TABASSUM AFP
2 min
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Karachi (AFP)

In the run-up to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, Karachi car-wash owner Sheikh Sagheer sees much of the traffic at his business switch from four wheels to four legs.

Locals bring him their cattle, sheep and goats for a thorough scrub down ahead of the animals' sacrifice during the three-day religious holiday, which begins Friday in Pakistan.

Sagheer, 42, said the cow wash started when he was spotted cleaning his sacrificial animal ahead of Eid after opening his business a few years ago.

"The people who saw me washing the animal came to me with their own... that's how this trend started," Sagheer told AFP.

Many of the animals come from a huge market on the outskirts of Karachi -- reputed to be the largest Eid cattle bazaar in Asia -- that is packed with goats, cows, bullocks, sheep and camels.

The creatures are often dirty, dusty and speckled with dung after being transported then packed together at the market.

Sagheer charges just 100 rupees (about 60 cents) for a wash -- which includes a soak with a pressure hose, a lather with suds, a scrub and a rinse.

"The charge is 100 rupees, which is nothing," said Mohammad Uzair, who brought in a large grey cow for a wash.

Sagheer says cleanliness is especially important because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I make it a point to sanitise the animal with disinfectants," he said.

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