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BISMARCK, N.D. — A religious slaughter of a sheep in town Friday morning led Bismarck Police to request an opinion for future, similar matters.

Lt. Steven Scheuer said officers, including animal control, responded to a report of a sheep being killed in a common parking area for apartments on the 2500 block of North Eighth Street. Police spoke with the man and woman there who were performing a ceremony in accordance with their Muslim faith, according to Scheuer.

The couple will not face charges, but police sent the report to the Bismarck city attorney's office for guidance, Scheuer said.

"We want to be respectful of people's religious beliefs, but we also want to consider the environment that this is in," Scheuer said.

Assistant city attorney Jason Hammes said no specific ordinance or health code provision appeared to be violated.

"I didn't see anything on this that jumped out as over-the-top disorderly," said Hammes, adding that a bigger issue would be if the live sheep had been kept in town as livestock, including poultry, beef and sheep, are not allowed in city limits. Awareness of related ordinances and health codes would also benefit similar situations as this, Hammes said.

Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha on Friday, a holy time of sacrifice. Worshipers observe Eid al-Adha with prayer and the sacrifice of animals, such as goats and sheep.

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