Ritual slaughter by Muslims, there is an alternative
only eat meat from ritually slaughtered
animals whose blood has left their bodies
Would it not be a good thing to sedate (daze) the animals
before cutting their throats. If done so, it just takes 10 to 20 seconds before the animal
is completely unconscious as a result of
a lack of oxygen.
With non-ritual slaughter the animal is
shot while wearing a shooting mask. This severely
damages the central nervous system (large
brains), but death is not instantaneous.
The heart keeps on beating so that now the throat could be cut; then the animal could bleed to death without pain.
Please, readers, note: it is European government regulation that
the animals should be dead at the onset
According to Muslim prescriptions it is
important for the sedation (anaesthetization) to be reversible,
because the animal must be alive and appear
sound from the outside before slaughter.
stunning is a possibility, but when
too weak voltages are used, animals
still move vividly. Some Imams consider sedation acceptable,
others have objections. If the slaughterers
do not anaesthetize before killing, government
officials (controllers) are to supervise on the spot.
Their presence has to be paid for and thus
the price of the meat increases. There can
be no financial objection even if the meat from non sedated animals would be cheaper than that of sedated animals.
year Muslims celebrate the end of the "hadj"
(the pilgrimage to Mecca). The sacrificial
feast dates back to the biblical story of
Abraham and Isac. Abraham was childless, but
God (Allah) promised him a son and gave him
this son. God tested Abraham's faith by ordering
hem to sacrifice his son. Just as Abraham
was about to kill his son, the angel Gabriël
told him to sacrifice a sheep instead. In
gratitude of God's mercy on this human being,
the Muslims sacrifice one or more sheep every
One third of the meat is given away to the
poor. Considering the fact as no Muslim
wishes to be regarded as a miser, more animals
are sacrificed than necessary, resulting in
a sort of BBQ-party. Some Turkish people order
to slaughter at least 100 sheep! Others again have
to borrow money to buy a sheep otherwise to be held for poor.
Fortunately, there are Muslims who suggest
offering money instead of animals. Slaughter
itself is not a farz (farz or fard=an islamic term which denotes a religious duty) but a sünnet (sünnet=an islamic term which denotes a religious habit).
It would be a good action of the Government and would benefit itself
to encourage Muslims in finding alternatives
Should the Muslims persist in their desire
to sacrifice animals, the preferable way would
be to anaesthetize before killing. It would even
be better if they abandoned the whole idea of killing altogether. The result would be
less cruelty to animals, less costs - and it would earn the Muslims a great
deal of goodwill.
Meacher wrote us:
Several years ago the World Society for
the Protection of Animals staged a demonstration
of humane stunning which showed that a captive
bolt stunner does not kill the animal,
but renders it insensitive to the stress
and pain of ritual slaughter. It was demonstrated
that the heart continues to beat after stunning
and therefore ritual slaughter may follow
stunning and the animal will bleed satisfactorily,
in accordance with Islamic requirements.
The demonstration, before senior Moslem
clerics, was videotaped. Copies of the tape
are probably still available from WSPA in
Stunning by means of captive bolt is probably
a more practical solution in the typical
slaughterhouse environment than chemical
sedation, which in most countries would
have to be administered by a vet; not to
mention the possible issue of consumption
of meat containing sedative chemicals.
From the animals' point of view stunning,
properly administered by a trained operative,
is instantaneous and therefore more humane
than 15 - 20 seconds of increasing drowsiness.
Shechita is the Jewish religious humane method of
animal slaughter for food.