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Is Halal slaughter of animals inhuman?

Is Halal slaughter of animals inhuman? 

 

The tabloid headlines ‘Halal secrets of Pizza Express’ in the Sun and ‘Millions are eating halal meat without knowing it,’ which appeared in the Daily Mail placed the question of religious animal slaughter firmly in the spotlight.

In his article, President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Omer El Hamdoon wrote that it was ‘Open season on the Muslims’ and this week we have decided to take a detailed look into the merits of Halal meat. 

In the Britain, the law states that all animals must be stunned before slaughter except halal and kosher meats.  Stunning involves passing a minimum of 125 volts for around 10secs through an animal of around 100 kg, larger animals use large voltages. However, in other countries like New Zealand, halal meat is stunned before the bleeding process and this is deemed acceptable because the animal would regain consciousness if the process of bleeding did not take place. Therefore, by stunning it is felt that the process does not undermine the validity of the religious slaughter. 

There is a difference of opinion because some Muslims insist that the halal process is only valid when the animal is not stunned. Nevertheless, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association, Dr. A. Majid Katme, believes there is not a piece of scientific research, which proves that stunning does not cause pain to the animal nor any scientific proof that the Muslim or Jewish slaughter methods are painful to animals.  

His claims appeared to concur with the view expressed by Bradford South East MP Yasmin Qureshi who accused the tabloid newspaper of prejudice in the debate over the ethics of halal and kosher meat. 

Speaking in parliament, the MP quoted a scientific study carried out by a Professor Schultz at Hanover University in Germany, she said the study revealed that in the first three seconds of Islamic slaughter no change was recorded in the EEG level before slaughter and in the following three second the EEG recorded a condition of unconsciousness. At six seconds, the EEG dropped to zero.

By contrast, she said, ‘with the stunning method although the animal appeared to fall unconscious after the stunning, in fact the EEG graph, showed severe pain immediately after stunning.’

Qureshi called for a proper scientific debate about slaughtering to allay concerns through the ignorance about how halal or kosher methods take place.