British group wants end to halal slaughter

The method of animal slaughter used by Muslims in Britain should be banned immediately, according to an independent advisory group.

    FAWC prefers bolt to head rather
    than knife to throat

    The British Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, says the way halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals.
     
    Halal slaughter is carried out with a single swift cut to the throat, rather than the western method of an electric bolt into the head.
     

    'Clearly suffering'
     
    FAWC said it wants an end to the exemption currently allowed for halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first.

    It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death - amounting to an abuse of the animal's rights.

    Calling for all livestock to be stunned, council chairwoman Dr Judy MacArthur Clark said: "The rendering of unconsciousness is a very immediate thing that happens."

    Clark believes that electrocuted animals suffer "far far less" because the period of time over which they die is shorter.

    Science disagrees

    However, experiments carried out in Germany seem to suggest the exact opposite of the FAWC claim.

    Professor Schultz and Dr Hazim of the Hanover University, using an electroencephalograph (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor pain and stress, concluded last month that halal slaughter is in fact more ‘humane’ than bolt stunning.

    Schultz believes halal slaughtered animals become unconscious within three seconds as a result of a large blood loss to the brain, while the EEG monitored no pain whatsoever after six seconds.

    The loss of blood, he said, also leads to more hygienic meat.

    Hazim also confirmed that in electrocuted animals the EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning.

    Hearts of stunned animals also stopped beating much earlier, he added, resulting in the retention of more blood in the meat. This in turn is unhygienic for the consumer.

    The FAWC gave similar advice to the government in the 1980s, but the advisory's opinion was not made into law.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?