Dr. Armanios added that there was one argument put forth by religious and secular people alike that is often overlooked: that there simply is no truly humane slaughter. Stunning has been used for decades and “promotes animal welfare and meat quality,” according to the North American Meat Institute, a trade group that represents 95 percent of American red-meat producers. "But Halal Slaughter Is The Most Humane Way To Slaughter Animals" Some religious scholars say that religions place a lot of rules regarding how to slaughter animals, not because slaughtering animals is a merciful act, but because of the exact opposite. In non-halal slaughterhouses, stunned animals are … In the current situation, the supply of non-stunned Halal meat is insufficient to meet the supply needs of the North America Muslim community. This is mainly due to poor communication from … 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. Not Reciting God’s Name When Slaughtering. Religious leaders say minimizing an animal’s pain has always been central to their traditions, and a ritual slaughter — carried out with a sharp blade to the neck — should be quick and almost painless. Some methods are reversible and others are irreversible. One preliminary point to consider when discussing the ruling of stunning is differentiating between the act of stunning and the legal status of the animal which has been slaughtered after stunning. This binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible and forbidden. On Monday, he retweeted Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right English commentator and contributor to the conspiracy site Infowars, who wrote that the ban “needs to happen in every European country.”. However, there are different forms of stunning; some of which are prohibited, and some are … Please refer to DHCE Halal Standards for more details. These are two different issues which are independent from one another and should not be cropped together under one banner. Dr. Armanios, an associate history professor at Middlebury College, said that the research on what is more “humane” was inconsistent, with studies that can support either position. What's the difference between halal meat and non-halal meat? The Quran forbids the eating of any animal that has been slaughtered in the name of other gods other than Allah. The ban went into effect this month in the northern region of Flanders and will be put into effect in the southern Wallonia region in September. What is up for debate now is, among halal meat producers, certifiers and consumers, whether stunning accomplishes that goal. BBC, 2003: Halal and Kosher slaughter 'must end'. Stunning through a device with a non-penetrating round head, in a way that does not kill the animal before its slaughter, is permitted, provided that certain conditions are adhered to. This is further complicated by the fact that authentic, hand slaughtered meat itself is not readily available and the majority of the ‘Halal’ meat in America is processed using doubtful slaughter methods. 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 question of stunning animals used for halal meat has become somewhat of buzzword amongst some UK Muslims. Health an Islamic Perspective. 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. Most Halal slaughterhouses in North America also use some form of stunning before slaughter. New Zealand has introduced a halal quality assurance system that reassures Muslims that some methods of stunning, such as electrical head-only, don’t result in the animal’s death before its neck is cut, and that blood loss causes the death. In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). Removing the method of stunning to render the animals unconscious, clearly means that the animals – who we know can feel pain, grief, fear, and other emotions – are well aware of what is happening to them when they are slaughtered. There are two types of electric stunning that Halal Food Authority approves: Water-bath Stun – … The Nazis also cited cruelty to animals when they prohibited slaughter without stunning in 1933. Therefore because of all the negative aspects of stunning, the Halal Monitoring Committee has set a blanket ruling disallowing stunning in any form. Another method of stunning that involves cardiac arrest is not allowed under halal rules. Jewish leaders remain divided over whether that method of stunning is acceptable, and how many seconds one should wait, Rabbi Genack said. Beyond the concern for animals, Jewish and Muslim leaders see darker motivations behind the effort to outlaw the practices. Halal slaughter without stunning has been associated with delayed loss of consciousness (Gregory, Fielding, Von Wenzlawowicz, & Von Holleben, 2010) and a noxious stimulus in the period following the ventral neck incision (Gibson et al., 2009). EU laws designed to reduce the suffering of chickens at slaughter came into force on 1st January 2013. HFSAA sent a delegation to research the Halal status of this meat and found that almost all of this meat is stunned due to the governmental regulations in these countries. The majority of beef slaughterhouses use a pneumatic stunner or a captive bolt pistol to subdue the animal before slaughter. Since the legal status of a stunned animal is dependent on it being alive at the time of slaughter, there is a need to discuss how to ascertain that the animal is alive at the time of death. “Stunning the animal before slaughter leaves a huge doubt into the halalness of the animal as many could be killed by … There is a viable alternative in the form of the ‘kill box’ which restrains the animal for slaughter and eliminates the need to stun. Islamset. Halal (/ h ə ˈ l ɑː l /; Arabic: حلال ‎, ḥalāl; also spelled halaal) is an Arabic word that translates to "permissible or lawful" into English.. Stunning. ! Halal Means Humane: Stunning of Animals from the Islamic Perspective In today's day and age, it is a major difficulty to know where our food comes from and more specifically, how the animals that provide meat for us to consume are handled and managed. SLAUGHTER CRITERIA HMA has adopted such a criterion for Halal slaughter that is accepted by all, irrespective of sects and schools of thought. In premises that undertake halal slaughter in New Zealand, reversible electrical stunning is used to ensure that animals are rendered unconscious instantaneously and remain unconscious at the time of slaughter, thus complying with both animal welfare and halal requirements. 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. The country’s tiny third region, Brussels, will still allow ritual slaughter. However all animals currently slaughtered in Scotland, Northern Ireland a… The move was applauded by animal rights activists but condemned by religious leaders who see the ban as a threat to their communities. In other words, the most stringent guidelines have been adopted to ensure for universal acceptability and so that the consumable is Halal … In the Netherlands, the government and religious groups struck a compromise, which took effect a year ago: If an animal is still responsive 40 seconds after its throat is cut, it must be stunned. There is debate about elements of halal, such as whether stunning is allowed. To be certified as halal, an animal must be alive and healthy, its throat must be cut in one swipe by a Muslim using a sharp knife and blood must be … Since CAS is an irreversible method of stunning, where the birds eventually die, the Halal Monitoring Authority does not approve of it except when the following is guaranteed: – … -The reason for using this system is to apply anaesthesia to the birds. The legal status of an animal which has been stunned is dependent on whether the animal was alive at the time of slaughter. There are different types of stunning used for different species including turkeys, chickens, lamb, and cattle. For the majority, no. When irreversible methods of stunning are applied, the animal will die if it is not slaughtered within a few minutes. Both faiths require that the animal be treated well in life and be healthy and unharmed before slaughter, which all Jewish religious authorities and some Muslim ones interpret as a prohibition of “stunning” before slaughter. The historical precedents are grim. 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. Stunning is a very serious matter and some scholars have used extremely strong language when describing the practice of stunning such as ‘against the spirit of Islam’ and an ‘evil innovation.’ Therefore, a Muslim should avoid using this practice as much as possible when slaughtering an animal. Temple Grandin, a renowned expert on humane slaughter (who was played by Claire Danes in a 2010 movie), has written that religious slaughter must be done with great attention to detail (and a long, sharp knife) to minimize suffering. The Conference of European Rabbis, which includes top religious leaders in 40 countries, called the new ban an affront to European values and said it “put Jewish life at risk.”. 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. They are authorized to remove such animals from the line and ensure that they are not included in the Halal production. The Jews have historically taken a strong stance against stunning and do not allow it under any circumstance. A good percentage of Muslims are not consuming authentic Halal products, are not concerned about Halal, or cannot find authentic Halal products in their cities. Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The level of voltage and the application of the stunning mechanism is closely monitored by Halal inspectors and supervisors. 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. HALAL GAS STUNNING SYSTEM I will briefly explain about the details which are needed to be considered when applying the gas stunning process: -The amount of gas used and the variety levels of these amounts are really important. The knife must not kill due to its weight. 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. Approximately 90% or more of chickens are stunned through the reversible method of the electric water trough. Everyone agrees that an animal’s suffering should be kept to a minimum, he added. The animal should also be slaughtered in a prescribed manner and by a faithful Muslim who can recite “shahada.” The Quran does not give a list of halal food but instead focus … 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. Halal Food Authority allows controlled electric stun-with-minuscule amperage, with official Veterinary Surgeon validating that the animal or the birds do not die prior to slaughtering. But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees … This point is verified by extensive research at the ground level on the Halal supply chain in numerous cities all over America. 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. Is Stunning an Animal Before Slaughter More Humane? Other methods are reversible in theory and the animal can get up and walk around if not slaughtered in a few minutes. 22 thousand cattle (1.1 percent of total slaughtered) None of the UK governments within the UK have a legal requirement to ensure all animals are stunned before slaughter. Likewise, the vast majority of lamb and goat slaughterhouses apply an electric rod to the head of the animal before slaughter. At issue is whether to allow religious exemptions to European Union rules that state animals must be knocked out before they are slaughtered, which supporters say is more humane. 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. To know why keep reading… Halal slaughter operates on certain important key principles and one of them is humaneness so that means reducing the animal's suffering. But a minority of halal food – and all kosher meat – does not involve stunning. Stunning cannot be used to kill an animal, according to the Halal Food … A small paradise country on earth, Mauritius offers great options for halal hotels, halal food, stunning beaches and perfect seclusion for halal holidays or honeymoons. He said he believed that anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment was responsible for some — but not all — of the momentum behind the recent bans. For this reason, many scholars have declared that the act of stunning is extremely disliked and close to being impermissible. 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. Stunning Halal or Haram No injury shall be inflicted on the animal’s nervous system, brain or spinal cord prior to slaughtering. Meat from stunned livestock presents more quality problems compared to non-stunned. A second, independent issue is the ruling of consuming an animal which has been stunned prior to a proper Halal slaughter. Halal meat comes from animals that are sacrificed "in the name of Allah," who is declared "Greater" than the gods of all other religions. We will discuss these two rulings separately below. With the start of the new year, Belgium became the latest European country to ban traditional Jewish and Muslim animal slaughtering practices. Eric Lalmand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. The Belgian law was first proposed by Ben Weyts, a right-wing Flemish nationalist and government minister responsible for animal welfare. The majority of Halal lamb and goat in America and a good percentage of the Halal beef is imported from New Zealand and Australia. 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. One of the most popular stunning methods is electrical stunning, and this study was conducted to gauge the viability of it as a reversible method for halal slaughter. Stunning is an unacceptable action and the person who stuns will sinful for causing extra pain to the animal. Proponents and opponents of stunning need to cooperate to protect animal welfare at slaughter and to produce high-quality meat. 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. 90.8 million meat chickens (9.7 percent of total slaughtered) 2. The current stunning method being used for chickens in Halal slaughterhouses is illegal. The long-term goal is to move closer to the Sunnah method of slaughter and stop causing extra pain to the animal through stunning. To determine which foods can be considered halal, Muslims can draw their basis on three major religious sources: passages in the Quran, customs and sayings of Prophet Muhammad, and views of the religious scholars and leaders. There are different types of stunning used for different species including turkeys, chickens, lamb, and cattle. However, stunning in any slaughterhouse in any country in the world, is not always successful; Halal or otherwise. Therefore, the Islamic ruling of stunning is an issue of paramount importance which has tremendous implications for Muslim consumers and businesses alike. 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. Some argue that stunning itself can cause great suffering, particularly if it is not carried out properly. 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. “Animal welfare has been addressed by Islamic legal scholars since very early in Islamic history,” said Bogac A. Ergene, a history professor at the University of Vermont and co-author, with Febe Armanios, of “Halal Food: A History.”. Belgium joins Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Slovenia, which do not allow religious exemptions to the stunning rule. Halal and kosher slaughter practices per se do not affect meat quality more than their conventional equivalents. ... HFSAA is proud to be able to implement a higher standard of Halal and provide consumers assurance that the animal was slaughtered according to the methods accepted by the vast majority of Muslims. In practical terms, the percentage of non-stunned Halal meat is extremely low and the majority of Halal meat is stunned. 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. 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. Other European countries have varying requirements, according to a Library of Congress report released last year. OK, take a step back. But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees certification for the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest kosher certifier. Viva! 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. The United States has similar regulations, but allows for religious exemptions. The operator presses the button to begin moving the belt and the chicken is passed through an electric current water bath to stun it. This presents challenges for the Muslim consumer who makes a conscious decision to consume only non-stunned Halal meat. A significant number of British Halal meat-eaters might be persuaded to switch to meat from stunned animals, if they were reassured that some forms of stunning are compatible with Halal … Halal compliant stunning methods for different animals After designing the slaughterhouse, it is important to fi rst test the stunning apparatus for compliance with halal standards. 3 .1 million sheep (25 percent of total slaughtered) 3. “What we see in Europe is ominous,” Rabbi Genack said. Muslim and Jewish leaders have filed lawsuits challenging the law in Belgium’s Constitutional Court. Some Religious Leaders Say No. 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. According to the British Halal Food Authority, stunning is permissible. Most Halal slaughterhouses in … SOURCES Smith, Rebecca, Sentenced to Death. 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