ANKARA, Turkey - Over a thousand Turks spent the first day of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in emergency wards on Sunday after stabbing themselves or suffering other injuries while sacrificing startled animals.
At least 1,413 people — referred to as "amateur butchers" by the Turkish media — were treated at hospitals across the country, most suffering cuts to their hands and legs, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Four people were severely injured, crushed under the weight of large animals that fell on top of them, the agency reported. Another person was hurt when a crane used to lift an animal tumbled onto him, the agency said.
Three other people suffered heart attacks and died while trying to restrain animals, CNN-Turk television reported.
Muslims sacrifice cows, sheep, goats and bulls during the four-day religious holiday, a ritual commemorating the biblical account of God's provision of a ram for Abraham to sacrifice as he was about to slay his son. They share the meat with friends, family and neighbors and give part of it to the poor.
Turkish authorities have introduced fines for those who slaughter animals outside facilities set up by local municipalities, but many Turks ignored the rules and sacrificed animals in their backyards or on roadsides.