There are different types of stunning used for different species including turkeys, chickens, lamb, and cattle. The long-term goal is to move closer to the Sunnah method of slaughter and stop causing extra pain to the animal through stunning. For halal slaughter that includes pre-stunning there is no practical difference in the way the animal is treated. The majority of beef slaughterhouses use a pneumatic stunner or a captive bolt pistol to subdue the animal before slaughter. Q What have governments done about the issue of halal slaughter without pre-stunning? You must meet all of the … The UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest that 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. At the same time, HFSAA acknowledges the scarcity of authentic Halal products and understand that stunning is needed in the short term to meet the needs of the Muslim community. Chickens slaughtered for Halal meat are not being stunned effectively. Therefore, if the fact that the animal was alive can be established in any way, it will be permissible to slaughter it, and its meat will be considered Halal. The slaughterers are trained to look for signs of life and to reject animals which do not bleed properly or do not display signs of life. If the Halal authorities were to completely reject stunned Halal meat and only accept non-stunned meat, then it would be extremely difficult to find authentic Halal meat in America. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? “Stunning the animal before slaughter leaves a huge doubt into the halalness of the animal as many could be killed by … The majority of Halal lamb and goat in America and a good percentage of the Halal beef is imported from New Zealand and Australia. This article will attempt to shed light on this important issue. Some methods are reversible and others are irreversible. Animals can also regain consciousness UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died. Instead of being rendered instantly unconscious when stunned, they will be receiving a painful electric shock that immobilises them before being slaughtered whilst fully conscious. The RSPCA says slaughter without pre-stunning causes "unnecessary suffering". This was suggested by the results of a survey published in the journal Vet Record in late June (2020). It is an established fact that the majority of conventional meat slaughterhouses in North America use some form of stunning to subdue and immobilize the animal before the slaughter. That is why campaigners are working to get clearer rules around labelling in place, and the industry body Eblex is currently consulting on introducing an assurance scheme to introduce “a level of transparency that it has been suggested is currently missing”. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. All the meat we sell from these suppliers is stunned before slaughter, the only difference being that Halal meat has received a blessing.” There is currently no domestic UK law (or European regulation) saying halal or kosher meat products must be labelled as such. Instead of being rendered instantly unconscious when stunned, they will be receiving a painful electric shock that immobilises them before being slaughtered whilst fully conscious. Chickens slaughtered for Halal meat are not being stunned effectively. “Ban halal and kosher meat in the UK.” This is the demand of an online petition signed by more than 88,000 people doing the rounds on social media. The UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest that 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non stunned. The opposite of halal is haram, meaning “forbidden”. Eblex chairman John Cross described it as a “very important sector”, and said that assurances about the methods of slaughter were “vital for its future success”. The Jews have historically taken a strong stance against stunning and do not allow it under any circumstance. Therefore because of all the negative aspects of stunning, the Halal Monitoring Committee has set a blanket ruling disallowing stunning in any form. Supermarkets selling halal products say they stun all animals before they are slaughtered. unconscious and insensible to pain, before being bled out at slaughter. The stance of HFSAA is that stunning should be avoided as much as possible and Muslims in the long term should move towards removing stunning completely from Halal slaughterhouses. UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died. Yet now the RSPCA says that, when compared to methods that involve stunning the animal beforehand, it can cause unnecessary suffering, pain and distress. In exchange there are actually more regulations in place governing the handling of animals that will not be stunned when slaughtered. There are numerous advantages to non-stunned meat including complete drainage of blood, better consistency of the meat, and no concern of the animal dying due to the stunning. So Allaah excludes from these forbidden types of meat those that are reached when still alive and slaughtered in the proper manner. It joined Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in banning the religious slaughter. The … For example, the vast majority of New Zealand lamb is processed by Halal standards. Q Do halal slaughterhouses in the UK face different regulations to non-halal ones? AFAIK there are no kosher authorities that allow stunning so it's a much more difficult issue for religious Jews. For meat to be halal, ... allowing any surplus meat from non-stunned slaughter to be sold on the open market to consumers who are unaware of the type of death that took place. Post Cancel. A renowned Islamic scholar, Mufti Taqi Usmani, has shed light on this important issue and he writes: ” The jurists have mentioned many signs that can be taken as proof of an animal being alive at the time of slaughter, for example if the animal bleeds at the time of slaughter like a living animal, or closes its mouth or eyes, or pulls together its legs, or shows any kind of movement, etc. This does, however, leave a significant minority of animals which are killed without being stunned first, at one of a reported 12 slaughterhouses in the UK which still perform the more traditional practice, endorsed by Islamic scholars, of keeping the animal conscious when its throat is cut. Between 84 and 90 per cent of animals killed for halal meat in the UK are processed by one of the large number of halal slaughterhouses which do use electric stunning beforehand. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." HFSAA has adopted a balanced approach in the short term with regards the issue of stunning and have consciously chosen the ‘lesser of the two evils’ in order to provide more options for Muslims to consume authentic Halal products. Figures from the Food Standards Agency say that in 2012 of those animals slaughtered in the UK according to halal rules 84% of cattle or calves, 81% of sheep and goats, and 88% of poultry were stunned before slaughter. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Most other meat shops probably have stunned meat as halal. It is far from the first. Earlier this year the Danish government decided to remove this exemption and said that “animal rights come before religion”. On the other hand, if it is established that the animal was indeed dead at the time of slaughter, such an animal will be unlawful to consume despite the fact that it was slaughtered in accordance to Islamic law. The vast majority of halal slaughter in Australia (including at export abattoirs) complies with standard slaughter practice where all animals are stunned prior to slaughter. Halal slaughter of animals was conceived on the historical principle that it was one of the more humane methods available. Yes, if British vets, the RSPCA and the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) are to be believed. For this reason, many scholars have declared that the act of stunning is extremely disliked and close to being impermissible. A second, independent issue is the ruling of consuming an animal which has been stunned prior to a proper Halal slaughter. The Daily Mail claimed that "more than 70% of all New Zealand lamb in supermarkets is halal".. Under Islamic and Jewish laws, animals are not pre-stunned before they're killed But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees … Denmark announced last year it would ban Halal and Kosher slaughtering practices. Correction appended, July 30. They use a form of electrical stunning which animals quickly recover from if not slaughtered, proving that the stunned animal is “healthy”, thereby qualifying as halal. While European law requires animals to be stunned before slaughter, the UK has an exemption in place for halal and kosher killing. This presents challenges for the Muslim consumer who makes a conscious decision to consume only non-stunned Halal meat. Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of the following animals: • Domesticated birds • Camels • Cattle • Sheep • Goats • Deer • Rabbits • Fish Supermarkets selling halal products also report that all animals are stunned before they are slaughtered. They are authorized to remove such animals from the line and ensure that they are not included in the Halal production. This could leave consumers unsure about whether the meat had been stunned before it was slaughtered; according to the House of Commons Library there isn't a consensus on whether halal rules require this. Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of the following animals: • Domesticated birds • Camels • Cattle • Sheep • Goats • Deer • Rabbits • Fish European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. In halal premium, 37 per cent of sheep and goats, 25 per cent of cattle and 16 per cent of poultry were killed without being stunned first. Food Standards Agency figures from 2012 showed that more than 80% of animals are stunned before slaughter for halal meat in the UK. Some animals killed for halal meat in the UK are stunned electrically before their throats are slit, known as “pre-stunned slaughter”. Some stores claimed last week they only sell products from stunned animals. Traditional halal meat is killed by hand and must be blessed by the slaughterman. While Halal meat is well known in the Arab and Muslim World, as well as in Arab American and American Muslim communities, much of the world does not know what it means for meat to be halal. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. In practical terms, the percentage of non-stunned Halal meat is extremely low and the majority of Halal meat is stunned. While Halal meat is well known in the Arab and Muslim World, as well as in Arab American and American Muslim communities, much of the world does not know what it means for meat to be halal. For halal slaughter that includes pre-stunning there is no practical difference in the way the animal is treated. Not Reciting God’s Name When Slaughtering. SUPERMARKETS are selling halal and kosher meat from animals killed without being pre-stunned, a Sun investigation reveals. A report from the FAWC said chicken and turkeys were likely to be conscious for up to 20 seconds after a transverse incision is made across their neck.“Such a large cut will inevitably trigger sensory input to pain centres in the brain,” the council said. Q Does halal slaughter without pre-stunning hurt animals more than other forms of slaughter? The European Parliament has approved a law change which would see compulsory labelling for all meat killed through halal slaughter without pre-stunning – but it could be years before this is implemented. Supermarkets selling halal products say they stun all … A recent study that was conducted by Bristol University into the Halal meat market attained responses from 250 Muslims into their buying behaviours as well as their Halal meat & poultry preferences. The animal is hand-slaughtered with a sharp knife. However, a report from the Food Standards Agency last year suggested some would step into the broader food chain. For halal and kosher consumers, meat quality has both spiritual and conventional components. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. When probed further and asked why then halal meat is so controversial, Muslims volunteer or concede that it is because halal meat comes from animals that were not stunned prior to being slaughtered, a practice that some animal rights activists find cruel to the animals. However, the impermissibility of the act of stunning does not influence the lawfulness of the animal which was stunned and does NOT necessarily mean that all stunned animals are also unlawful to consume. However, a small number of abattoirs in Australia (located in NSW, SA and VIC) have been granted permission by the relevant State food authority to slaughter animals without prior stunning. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Halal and kosher meat could be labelled by method of slaughter after Brexit in row over animal cruelty. HFSAA will do their best to educate the Muslim public with regards to the harms of stunning and plan to introduce a system to label products which are stunned and products which are not stunned. In … Therefore, after careful consideration, HFSAA has decided to approve reversible methods of stunning in the short term for poultry and sheep under strict supervision to ensure that the animal does not die. Halal and kosher meat cannot be labelled organic if the animal was not stunned before being killed, the EU’s highest court has ruled. Current data shows that the production of stunned meat, also including covert halal, and meat that is not even halal, is being labelled as halal within the industry. A spokesman for the college said the college is looking into the request, but will also be expanding its kosher and halal meat … When probed further and asked why then halal meat is so controversial, Muslims volunteer or concede that it is because halal meat comes from animals that were not stunned prior to being slaughtered, a practice that some animal rights activists find cruel to the animals. If the animal was indeed alive at the time of a proper Halal slaughter, then the meat of such an animal will be lawful to consume. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Halal meat has returned to headlines in the past weeks - but what are the facts? The majority of halal meat in the UK is pre-stunned. 5. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? The legal status of an animal which has been stunned is dependent on whether the animal was alive at the time of slaughter. Halal is an Arabic term in Islam which means permissible, allowed. Although some imported Halal may not be pre-stunned, all New Zealand lamb is. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Meat from stunned livestock presents more quality problems compared to non-stunned. UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered for halal meat were stunned before they died. You must stun all animals before you slaughter them unless an animal is being religiously slaughtered for halal or kosher meat. There are numerous types of stunning including the pneumatic stunner which delivers a blow to the head of the animal, captive bolt pistol which shatters the brain of the animal, electric water through which delivers an electric shock to poultry, and electric brain stunner for sheep. A recent study that was conducted by Bristol University into the Halal meat market attained responses from 250 Muslims into their buying behaviours as well as their Halal meat & poultry preferences. Last year politicians in Britain said they would not be outlawing halal slaughter without pre-stunning despite pressure from activists including the RSPCA, which has in the last week brought a new e-petition for them to do so. UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of … The common factor in all these methods of stunning is causing extra pain to the animal above and beyond the pain experienced during the slaughter itself. For the majority, no. No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. It is a broad term covering what is allowed in the context of Islamic law, but is often used in conjunction with the issue of how meat is dealt with. No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. The only difference with halal slaughter is that a reversible stunning method is used, while conventional humane slaughter may use an irreversible stunning method. However, all animals are stunned before commercial slaughter in New Zealand and New Zealand is a major exporter of halal meat. Based on the Halal needs of the Muslim community, many renowned international Halal organizations and authorities have accepted animals which are stunned with strict requirements and measures in place to ensure that the animal is alive when slaughtered. However, HFSAA will not allow lethal and irreversible stunning methods for cattle which will cause the death of the animal in a few minutes and will initiate cardiac arrest. Q Are animals conscious when they are killed for halal slaughter? Q How much is the halal meat industry worth? Halal and kosher slaughter practices per se do not affect meat quality more than their conventional equivalents. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) says it believes “all animals should be effectively stunned before slaughter to improve the welfare of these animals”, while the RSPCA says it causes “unnecessary suffering”. The level of voltage and the application of the stunning mechanism is closely monitored by Halal inspectors and supervisors. Likewise, there are many Muslim leaders who are completely opposed to stunning and do not allow it. Likewise, the vast majority of lamb and goat slaughterhouses apply an electric rod to the head of the animal before slaughter. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non stunned. We will discuss these two rulings separately below. The halal meat market in the UK is estimated to be worth around £2.6 billion a year. The majority of Halal lamb and goat in America and a good percentage of the Halal beef is imported from New Zealand and Australia. Approximately 90% or more of chickens are stunned through the reversible method of the electric water trough. Islam has strict laws on the proper method of slaughtering an animal. Standard Australian slaughter practice ensures that animals are stunned, i.e. Animals reared in Denmark and New Zealand must be pre-stunned – with no legal exemptions for halal or kosher – and such meat is widely available in British supermarkets. Our understanding (as of 2017) is that there are 8 abattoirs in Australia with approval to cond… Comment. Tesco has since clarified that in the UK, all its Tesco branded halal meat is stunned and the only difference is the prayer before slaughter. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Halal-slaughtered animals are 'dying in agony' because of 'Muslim ignorance' over pre-slaughter stunning, say experts Under Islamic law Muslims can only consume meat that is deemed 'halal' It's no different from standard abattoir practice. The Halal Food Authority is one the largest of these organisations and says that both poultry and ovine meat can be stunned. Retailers and food chains insist that while they do not label all the halal meat they sell, it does come from animals which have been pre-stunned, which removes the concerns about cruelty. The LCM described the decision as “undemocratic and hugely discriminatory”. After learning of the evil of stunning, a Muslim should do his best to consume meat which was not stunned and support businesses who supply non-stunned Halal meat. To ensure the welfare of the animals, we do use recoverable stunning prior to slaughter. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. (from the Conversation [1] ) Stunned Halal meat is considered to be Haram or forbidden. One, called dhabihah, requires a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein. These are two different issues which are independent from one another and should not be cropped together under one banner. For example, halal supplier Najma states: "We follow the Islamic values of treating all animals with kindness and compassion. There is a viable alternative in the form of the ‘kill box’ which restrains the animal for slaughter and eliminates the need to stun. We would urge the UK Government to insist that all Halal meat procured is stunned before slaughter. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Thus it is known that the Qur’aan does forbid animals that have been stunned if they die as a result of that stunning before being slaughtered properly, because the animal that is stunned has suffered a violent blow, and Allaah has stated in this verse that such an animal is haraam unless it is reached while it is still alive and slaughtered in the proper manner. Stunning At Halal Food Gastronomy we only showcase places that meet the following strict criteria, this is to help ensure that all of the places we feature are universally accepted as Halal with the lowest possible level of risk due to the widespread levels of malpractice in the Halal Food Industry. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non stunned. Halal is an Arabic term in Islam which means permissible, allowed. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) estimates about 88pc of animals killed through halal methods are stunned beforehand using techniques acceptable in Islamic law. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Other methods are reversible in theory and the animal can get up and walk around if not slaughtered in a few minutes. HFSAA is also dedicated to working in the long term with Muslim businesses and the meat industry to build the infrastructure needed to eliminate stunning once and for all from the Halal slaughter plants. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? They may be eaten because of the effect of proper slaughter, unlike those that die by being stunned before being slaughtered, in which case slaughtering does not render them permissible. Tesco has since clarified that in the UK, all its Tesco branded halal meat is stunned and the only difference is the prayer before slaughter. A small number of abattoirs in Australia have been granted permission from the relevant State or Territory food authority to conduct religious slaughter without prior stunning – for either Halal or Kosher (Jewish slaughter) purposes. Above all, unstunned meat should not be served to the wider community. 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