Currently, meat in the UK that is labelled as halal could be from pre-stunned slaughter or not pre-stunned slaughter – it is very difficult to guarantee either way. Currently, meat in the UK that is labelled as halal meat could be from pre-stunned slaughter or not pre-stunned slaughter – it is very difficult to guarantee either way. 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. Likewise, there are many Muslim leaders who are completely opposed to stunning and do not allow it. Although some imported Halal may not be pre-stunned, all New Zealand lamb is. Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of the following animals: • Domesticated birds • Camels • Cattle • Sheep • Goats • Deer • Rabbits • Fish Online Editors Independentie 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. Stunning is an unacceptable action and the person who stuns will sinful for causing extra pain to the animal. They are authorized to remove such animals from the line and ensure that they are not included in the Halal production. Halal food, here, is a proxy for ... are that halal is here used as a synonym for a cruel kind of killing in which animals are slaughtered without being pre-stunned. The … Its antonym is Haram. UK Food Standards Agency figures from 2011 suggest 84% of … This article will attempt to shed light on this important issue. Q Does halal slaughter without pre-stunning hurt animals more than other forms of slaughter? 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. Chickens slaughtered for Halal meat are not being stunned effectively. 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. While European law requires animals to be stunned before slaughter, the UK has an exemption in place for halal and kosher killing. 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. 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. Under Islamic and Jewish laws, animals are not pre-stunned before they're killed 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. Muslims are allowed to eat the meat of the following animals: • Domesticated birds • Camels • Cattle • Sheep • Goats • Deer • Rabbits • Fish We would urge the UK Government to insist that all Halal meat procured is stunned before slaughter. 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. (from the Conversation [1] ) Stunned Halal meat is considered to be Haram or forbidden. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. 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. Supermarkets selling halal products say they stun all … 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. AFAIK there are no kosher authorities that allow stunning so it's a much more difficult issue for religious Jews. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? 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. 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. This will now stop from September, despite the council admitting there is currently no demand for stunned halal meat from any school in the county. You must stun all animals before you slaughter them unless an animal is being religiously slaughtered for halal or kosher meat. The level of voltage and the application of the stunning mechanism is closely monitored by Halal inspectors and supervisors. 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. Halal is an Arabic term in Islam which means permissible, allowed. 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 only difference with halal slaughter is that a reversible stunning method is used, while conventional humane slaughter may use an irreversible stunning method. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non stunned. Halal and kosher meat could be labelled by method of slaughter after Brexit in row over animal cruelty. Around 85% of halal meat is stunned (in the UK, at least) and most Islamic authorities are fine with it. 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. Post Cancel. 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. 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. So Allaah excludes from these forbidden types of meat those that are reached when still alive and slaughtered in the proper manner. Among the respondents who said they preferred meat from stunned animals, 46% (100) said they were unsure of the Halal status of this meat, while around a quarter (24%; 52) said they sometimes ate meat from animals that had been stunned in the absence of an alternative. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Halal and kosher slaughter practices per se do not affect meat quality more than their conventional equivalents. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Most other meat shops probably have stunned meat as halal. 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. The law requires animals to be stunned (rendered unconscious) before slaughter. 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. Therefore, the Islamic ruling of stunning is an issue of paramount importance which has tremendous implications for Muslim consumers and businesses alike. Food Standards Agency figures from 2012 showed that more than 80% of animals are stunned before slaughter for halal meat in the UK. Pressure drop You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Some methods are reversible and others are irreversible. 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. But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees … Q What have governments done about the issue of halal slaughter without pre-stunning? 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. The opposite of halal is haram, meaning “forbidden”. Standard Australian slaughter practice ensures that animals are stunned, i.e. 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. That requirement would exclude kosher meat, which cannot be stunned before slaughter. Not Reciting God’s Name When Slaughtering. 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”. Some stores claimed last week they only sell products from stunned animals. The animal is hand-slaughtered with a sharp knife. Currently, meat in the UK that is labelled as halal could be from pre-stunned slaughter or not pre-stunned slaughter – it is very difficult to guarantee either way. Therefore because of all the negative aspects of stunning, the Halal Monitoring Committee has set a blanket ruling disallowing stunning in any form. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. 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. However, a report from the Food Standards Agency last year suggested some would step into the broader food chain. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. 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. For example, the vast majority of New Zealand lamb is processed by Halal standards. Above all, unstunned meat should not be served to the wider community. The Daily Mail claimed that "more than 70% of all New Zealand lamb in supermarkets is halal".. In exchange there are actually more regulations in place governing the handling of animals that will not be stunned when slaughtered. For example, halal supplier Najma states: "We follow the Islamic values of treating all animals with kindness and compassion. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non 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 halal meat market in the UK is estimated to be worth around £2.6 billion a year. 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. No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. 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. 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. 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. Meat from stunned livestock presents more quality problems compared to non-stunned. The debate in the UK resurfaced in spring 2014 after Denmark prohibited unstunned slaughter in February that year. This presents challenges for the Muslim consumer who makes a conscious decision to consume only non-stunned Halal meat. The presence of halal meat in shops and restaurants has been big news today. Correction appended, July 30. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. “Stunning the animal before slaughter leaves a huge doubt into the halalness of the animal as many could be killed by … Halal is an Arabic term in Islam which means permissible, allowed. 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' 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. For the majority, no. 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. Other methods are reversible in theory and the animal can get up and walk around if not slaughtered in a few minutes. Halal slaughter of animals was conceived on the historical principle that it was one of the more humane methods available. Unstunned halal meat is provided in school meals for some of the 12,000 children in 27 Lancashire schools. European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. What most non-Arabs or non-Muslims do not know about halal meat is that it is healthier and tastes better than the generic meat most Americans consume. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? 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. 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. 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”. This was suggested by the results of a survey published in the journal Vet Record in late June (2020). Q Do halal slaughterhouses in the UK face different regulations to non-halal ones? The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Approximately 90% or more of chickens are stunned through the reversible method of the electric water trough. Earlier this year the Danish government decided to remove this exemption and said that “animal rights come before religion”. 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 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. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. 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 rules, suggest the results of a survey published in Vet Record this week. Halal meat has returned to headlines in the past weeks - but what are the facts? 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. There are different types of stunning used for different species including turkeys, chickens, lamb, and cattle. The observation of movement in the animal, or establishing the fact that a pulse exists is sufficient to prove an animal alive.”. In … Q How much is the halal meat industry worth? Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. 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. According to the dietary rules of Islam, halal refers to the foods that are fit for Muslim consumption. We will discuss these two rulings separately below. Traditional halal meat is killed by hand and must be blessed by the slaughterman. Supermarkets selling halal products also report that all animals are stunned before they are slaughtered. Q Are animals conscious when they are killed for halal slaughter? 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. It joined Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in banning the religious slaughter. The Halal Food Authority is one the largest of these organisations and says that both poultry and ovine meat can be stunned. 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. 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. It is adamant, however, that animals should not be stunned to death. Islam has strict laws on the proper method of slaughtering an animal. 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. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) estimates about 88pc of animals killed through halal methods are stunned beforehand using techniques acceptable in Islamic law. 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. In practical terms, the percentage of non-stunned Halal meat is extremely low and the majority of Halal meat is stunned. BUT, to check, you can ask if their meat is stunned or not, some places do have unstunned meat, just cannot afford the certification of HMC etc. Comment. Its antonym is Haram. 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. 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. 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. 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. The LCM described the decision as “undemocratic and hugely discriminatory”. Halal meat is reared—and slaughtered—differently from conventional meat. 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 not stunned before slaughter. One, called dhabihah, requires a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein. These ‘approvals’ are effectively exemptions to standard Australian slaughter practice and only apply to cattle and sheep. (All Halal slaughter of chickens in Australia includes prior stunning.) 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. The report concluded that 70% of Muslims prefer to buy meat/poultry that is non stunned. The Halal meat sector is one of the fastest growing in the meat industry in Britain, with supermarket chains scrambling for a share of the market. 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. Yes, if British vets, the RSPCA and the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) are to be believed. they may have other documentation. The Jews have historically taken a strong stance against stunning and do not allow it under any circumstance. The RSPCA says slaughter without pre-stunning causes "unnecessary suffering". In the UK, 58 percent of Halal meat comes from animals which have been stunned before slaughter and certified Halal. 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 rules. There is a viable alternative in the form of the ‘kill box’ which restrains the animal for slaughter and eliminates the need to stun. It's no different from standard abattoir practice. Online Editors Independentie 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. Likewise, the vast majority of lamb and goat slaughterhouses apply an electric rod to the head of the animal before slaughter. In practical terms, the percentage of non-stunned Halal meat is extremely low and the majority of Halal meat is stunned. In 1997, for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hit a Virginia meat producer with a $15,000 fine for labeling ordinary meat as halal and selling it for inflated prices. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. “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. For halal and kosher consumers, meat quality has both spiritual and conventional components. A spokesman for the college said the college is looking into the request, but will also be expanding its kosher and halal meat … The legal status of an animal which has been stunned is dependent on whether the animal was alive at the time of slaughter. A second, independent issue is the ruling of consuming an animal which has been stunned prior to a proper Halal slaughter. For halal slaughter that includes pre-stunning there is no practical difference in the way the animal is treated. 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. 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. The ban on kosher/halal slaughter in Denmark has been slammed as an 'interference with religious freedom', {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Halal meat: What is it and why is it so controversial, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. What most non-Arabs or non-Muslims do not know about halal meat is that it is healthier and tastes better than the generic meat most Americans consume. The majority of beef slaughterhouses use a pneumatic stunner or a captive bolt pistol to subdue the animal before slaughter. 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. With the issue of halal meat back in the news this week, we answer some of the questions you may have about the practice: Halal is the Arabic word for “lawful” or “permitted”. When irreversible methods of stunning are applied, the animal will die if it is not slaughtered within a few minutes. The majority of halal meat in the UK is pre-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. 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. Supermarkets selling halal products say they stun all animals before they are slaughtered. 5. Halal and kosher meat cannot be labelled organic if the animal was not stunned before being killed, the EU’s highest court has ruled. Definitely not for cows, though electrical stunning is apparently allowed for goats and chickens by the British Halal Council. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Chickens slaughtered for Halal meat are not being stunned effectively. 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. Supermarkets selling halal products also report that all animals are stunned before they are slaughtered. 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. SUPERMARKETS are selling halal and kosher meat from animals killed without being pre-stunned, a Sun investigation reveals. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) estimates about 88pc of animals killed through halal methods are stunned beforehand using techniques acceptable in Islamic law. unconscious and insensible to pain, before being bled out at slaughter. For this reason, many scholars have declared that the act of stunning is extremely disliked and close to being impermissible. To ensure the welfare of the animals, we do use recoverable stunning prior to slaughter. However, all animals are stunned before commercial slaughter in New Zealand and New Zealand is a major exporter of halal meat. 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”. These are two different issues which are independent from one another and should not be cropped together under one banner. For meat to be considered halal the animal must be alive and healthy before it is killed, and all the blood must be drained from the body. 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. 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. According to the dietary rules of Islam, halal refers to the foods that are fit for Muslim consumption. The majority of Halal lamb and goat in America and a good percentage of the Halal beef is imported from New Zealand and Australia. The majority of Halal lamb and goat in America and a good percentage of the Halal beef is imported from New Zealand and Australia. No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. This point is verified by extensive research at the ground level on the Halal supply chain in numerous cities all over America. There is a requirement of four million chicken per week of which only 770,000 is the actual Prophetic (non-stunned), Sharia compliant Halal meat produced within UK. 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 the current situation, the supply of non-stunned Halal meat is insufficient to meet the supply needs of the North America Muslim community. 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