Islamic slaughtering and the Australian Government
Muslim Slaughter program system
... Federal, State and Territory agriculture ministers from Australia and New Zealand met in Melbourne last Friday to discuss a range of issues at the 21st meeting of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council.
On the agenda was calls by animal welfare groups for exemptions that allow 12 Australian abattoirs to slaughter animals without prior stunning on religious and cultural grounds.
In a communique released after its meeting, the council said ministers had reviewed the results of a two-year consultation process with stakeholders and had considered the science involved and the views of religious groups.
However the ministers did not reach an agreement on the issue, and the council said discussions will continue with the religious groups “in order to settle an applicable risk management framework”.
It is understood that up to 250,000 animals are killed without prior stunning in Australia every year under the religious slaughter exemptions.
...Halal slaughter expert Dr Mohammed Lotfi from Australian Halal Food Services told Beef Central earlier this year that the focal point of the Islamic slaughtering process was on the humane treatment of animals.
Dr Lotfi said the use of stunning as an animal welfare measure prior to slaughter was an acceptable procedure under Halal slaughtering techniques. Halal is Arabic for “lawful” or “permissible” and describes what is fit for Muslims to eat, and is based on an interpretation of the Quran, the Muslim scripture.
Under the Australian Government Muslim Slaughter program system, non-penetrating Percussive stunning was used in the Halal slaughter of cattle for all export Muslim markets.
The use of non-penetrating Percussive stunning complied with the Halal requirement that the animal must be alive at the time of slaughter. For this to be determined the animal’s heart must be beating when it is slaughtered.
Dr Lotfi said that under Islamic slaughtering law:
- Any form of ill-treatment of animals is prohibited;
- Animals should be well-fed and watered;
- Only healthy animals can be slaughtered;
- Animals should not be slaughtered in front of one another;
- Pregnant animals should not be slaughtered;
- Calves should not be slaughtered in front of their mothers and vice versa;
- Only very sharp knives should be used for the slaughtering;
- Slaughtering should be done in one cut and as fast as possible.
Source : http://www.beefcentral.com/p/news/article/811 by James Nason