The occurrence of antibiotic residues in meat is considered a serious hazard to public health. This work was conducted to survey the occurrence of antibiotic residues among lamb meat and mutton in Erbil city. The effect of thermal processing on residues was also addressed. From July to December 2018, a total of 280 samples were collected from butcher shops in Erbil city and analyzed microbiologically in plates pre-inoculated with Bacillus subtilis by direct and extraction methods. The overall occurrence of antibiotic residues was (10.4%) and (13.2%) according to direct and extraction methods respectively. The highest occurrence rate was detected in December (22.2%). In terms of thermal processing, cooking for 45 minutes totally deactivated antibiotic residues against the challenged bacterium. In conclusion, the presence of antibiotic residues among sheep meat in Erbil city is high and their persistence is easily eliminated by cooking. The hygienic significance of antibiotic residues in sheep meat has been discussed particularly the major risks to human health, including those caused by toxic reactions, cancer cases, bacterial resistance or other risks.