Monday, December 18, 2006

New Scientist Halal

It is pleasing to see that Muslim researchers are looking for a less cruel method of slaughter. Meanwhile, the routine cruelty of Halal slaughter must stop, until such time as an improved method can be proven. Any method of slaughter must be no more cruel or distressing for the animal than that of the best possible practice. This applies both to the slaughter itself, but also in the treatment of the animal up to the time of slaughter.

Incidentally, I have a Jewish friend who is a vegetarian. It would appear that a growing consciousnes of, and conscience about the cruelty of traditional methods of slaughter is developing within the Jewish community.

This article is copied from the "New Scientist" magazine of 2nd December 2006:

Halal-standard slaughtering doesn't need animals awake

"He has only forbidden you dead meat and blood, and the flesh of swine and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of God." (The Koran 2:173)

Muslim religious law requires, amongst other things, that an animal must be drained of blood before it is halal - permissible for consumption. Ritual slaughter according to Jewish dietary law - shechita - has the same prescription.

Most Muslim slaughterers believe that drainage will only be complete if the throat of the animal is slit without stunning it first, but now Haluk Anil of the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues have shown that the amount of blood drained from the animal, and the rate of blood loss, is the same regardless of whether or not it is stunned first.

Anlil's team have already shown that stunning does not affect "bleed-out" in sheep. Now they have done the same thing in cattle. They measured the bleed-out in 13 cattle killed by the traditional Muslim method, and 13 killed in the same way, but having first been stunned by a captive-bolt-pistol blow to the head (Animal Welfare, vol 15, p 325).

"Stunning does not impede blood loss, therefore this objection cannot be used any more," says Anlil, who is coordinating a European Union project to examine legislation and welfare issues related to religious slaughter, both shechita and halal.

Humanity needs peace not Islam.


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