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mercredi 27 octobre 2010

- RITUAL SLAUGHTER : " stunned animal suffers more pain than a ritually slaughtered one. ." Harold Hillman

UK :

...In the meantime, perhaps the opponents of ritual slaughter
need to review  their position – it would be very sad if an alliance
of well-meaning vegetarians, humanists and European lawmakers were to encourage the spread of cruel practices in the belief
that they were being humane. ..

Butchery is always a messy business, but is religiously inspired ritual slaughter really worse than other methods? Physiologist Harold Hillman dissects the evidence

Harold Hillman

By certain readings of the Jewish and Islamic faiths it is forbidden to eat meat from an animal that was injured or unhealthy prior to being slaughtered. Any animal stunned before slaughter is considered to have been injured, meaning the meat would not be “kosher” or “halal”. So under the Jewish “shechita” and Muslim “dhabihah” methods of ritual slaughter, the animal is restrained and, while it remains fully conscious, its neck is cut. It loses consciousness and eventually bleeds to death.

In the UK, where 900 million animals are slaughtered for food each year, all methods involve death by loss of blood, but it is a legal requirement for animals to be stunned before slaughter, in order to minimise pain. Legal exemptions, however, are granted on religious grounds to allow for the production of kosher and halal meat, and as a result more than 100 million animals are slaughtered each year without first being stunned.

It’s an issue that outrages both secularists and animal rights activists, with the government facing repeated calls to follow the example of Norway, Sweden and New Zealand by imposing a full ban on slaughter without stunning. The National Secular Society, which describes the exemptions “as a further example of how the . . . government allows the incursions of religious privilege into legislation”, welcomed a recent proposal by the European Parliament to introduce mandatory labelling on ritually slaughtered meat, saying “animals should not be made to suffer because of centuries-old religious practices”. The British Humanist Association takes a similar line, arguing that “the case against allowing religious methods of slaughter without pre-stunning is overwhelming”. Meanwhile, though it will come as no surprise to learn that the Vegetarian International Voice for Animals (Viva) is against slaughter, it is worth noting that it is particularly opposed to ritual methods on the grounds that “the terror and pain which these animals experience is immense.”

This view has also long been held by the respected Farm Animal Welfare Council, which recommended a ban to the government as long ago as 1985, reporting that it was not “convinced by arguments that direct cutting of the throat when carried out speedily and efficiently causes the animal no more suffering than if it had been effectively stunned”. It reiterated this position in 2003, arguing that exemptions should be repealed. Last year, a study led by Craig Johnson, a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Neurophysiology at Massey Univeristy in New Zealand, appeared to back this view. Johnson and his team demonstrated that, in un-stunned calves, pain signals can be detected from the brain for up to two minutes after the throat has been cut. Even DEFRA agreed with this view – responding to the FAWC in 2005, it noted “that scientific evidence indicates that animals that receive an effective pre-cut stun do not experience pain at the time of slaughter,” but refused to ban ritual slaughter on account of its commitment to “respect for the rights of religious groups”.

Prominent physiologists such as Professor Neville Gregory of the Royal Veterinary College, London, and Dr Temple Grandin of Colorado State University have concluded that electrical stunning of animals is humane. But neither of these authorities discuss whether animals are insensate after stunning. No physiologists investigating animal slaughter, other than myself, have considered the evidence from the electrical torture of human beings, and yet it is standard practice to regard evidence from animal physiology as relevant to humans. So why are findings in humans not applied to animals? The reluctance to do so seems inexplicable.

....There is plenty of evidence, direct and indirect, that an electrically stunned animal suffers more pain than ritually slaughtered one. “Shechita” and “dhabihah” may be “centuries-old religious practices”, but it does not necessarily follow that we should oppose their use today without first thoroughly reviewing the evidence. That is the rational approach that we, as humanists and secularists, should adopt, taking care not to be driven by any prejudices we may have against religion. More detailed research into the effects of electrical stunning is needed before we can be sure that it leads to relatively pain-free slaughter. In the meantime, perhaps the opponents of ritual slaughter need to review their position – it would be very sad if an alliance of well-meaning vegetarians, humanists and European lawmakers were to encourage the spread of cruel practices in the belief that they were being humane....

Full article   Harold Hillman - There will be blood New Humanist
Volume 125 Issue 5 September/October 2010

Biographie  : HAROLD HILLMAN

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