by Dr. Abdul Majid Katme, (Chairman of the Islamic
Medical Association in the UK) at the UFAW*
Symposium on Humane Slaughter and Euthanasia, held
at the Zoological Society of London, Regents
Park, on the 18th and 19th September, 1986.
Federation for animal Welfare (in association with
the Humane Slaughter Association).
the name of ALLAH, the Beneficent, the Merciful
UP-TO-DATE ASSESSMENT OF THE MUSLIM
METHOD OF SLAUGHTER
N D E X
would prefer to call this talk An
up-to-date assessment of the Islamic
as the Islamic view towards slaughter is what we
would like to discuss here today; Islam has got
permanent fixed rules and teachings which do not
change with time but Muslims sometimes, especially
when they are not practicing, do not adhere properly
and strictly to the code of Islam.
going into this subject, I think it would be wise,
for the benefit of this large, non-Muslim audience,
to give an idea about Islam, a faith with 1.5-2
million followers here in the UK. I am sure that
this explanation about our background will clarify
many of the issues which we would like to raise
during the talk today and will make you understand
the importance and wisdom behind our Islamic Law
in connection with slaughtering of animals for food.
is the last, and final religion, after Judaism and
Christianity. Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the
last Prophet giving this message to mankind. The
word Islam means voluntary, total and full submission
to the words and orders of the creator, ALLAH (s.w.t)
the one and only creator, the creator of Abraham,
Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them).
Islam is a full, comprehensive religion and code
of life which contains all the instructions for
the different aspects of life - health, nutrition
economic, education, science, morality etc. - for
the individual male and female, for the family and
for the society at large. Its rules and orders are
permanently fixed, forever, applying to any one
place at any one time.
therefore believe that religious
law should not
be interfered with
by any authority.
two basic references for Muslim laws are:
Quran (The final Book of
Revelation, revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace
be upon him).
Sunnah [sayings, actions and behavior
of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).]
(s.w.t) is the Creator of the universe, our bodies
- with its anatomy and physiology -
and the Creator of all the animals.The same Creator
has given us the appropriate laws, especially in
connection with food and diet, which will never,
ever, lead to any contradiction or any suffering
or ill-health. The laws of real science go hand
in hand with the laws of ALLAH (s.w.t)
and dietary laws
are an important part of Islam and we have all the
food to eat and drink
food and drink to avoid;
to eat and drink (i.e. etiquette);
to eat and drink
animals to eat and
ones to avoid;
to slaughter the animals.
this, and a lot more, have been stated and explained
in the Quran and by the Prophet Muhammad (peace
be upon him) in his sayings and practice and to
eat halal (lawful) food is a form
of worship, like prayer.
is another characteristic of Islam:
to all animals;
children; to women;
even to plants.
person can go to paradise for feeding a thirsty
person can go to hell for starving a cat!
is also another characteristic embedded in all the
teachings and instructions of Islam. Anything halal
(lawful) will lead you to good health, free from
disease and suffering; conversely, anything haram
(unlawful) will inevitably lead to disease and suffering
of one kind or another. For example adultery leads
to venereal diseases and other problems; homosexuality
leads to AIDS, etc.; alcohol abuse gives brain damage,
liver disease and many other medical, psychological
and social problems (all
these are forbidden).
hundred years ago, Islam talked about the relationships
between diet and disease by encouraging the Halal
(lawful) diet and drink. Allow me to establish
a few basic facts in Islam, which are relevant to
our subject today. It is forbidden to consume blood,
in any form, and, medically, we know that blood
is harmful to health. As it contains toxins and
urea, and may contain bacteria, parasites viruses
new chemicals and drugs etc. Besides this, blood
can lead to poisoning when still in meat to be consumed.
is also forbidden in the Old and New Testaments
to cosume blood.
Bible says: -
they smote the Philistines that day from Mishmash
to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. And
the people flew upon the spoil, and took: sheep,
and oxen. And calves, and slew them on the ground:
and the people did eat them with the blood. Then
they told Saul. Saying. Behold, the people sin against
the Lord. In that they eat with the blood. And he
said. Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto
me this day. And Saul said. Disperse yourselves
among the people, and say unto them. Bring me hither
every man his ox. And every man his sheep. And slay
them here, and eat: and sin not against the Lord
in eating with the blood.
be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood
is the life: and thou mayest not eat the life with
the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it. thou shalt pour
it upon the earth as water.
is forbidden to eat the meat of an animal, which
has died before being slaughtered (by any kind of
stunning, strangulation - chemical or physical -,
a blow to the head -concussion or percussion -,
or due to a fall etc.) Only meat killed in the Halal
(lawful) way is allowed to be consumed (dead meat
with all the clotted blood in it is very harmful
(s.w.t) says in the Quran Forbidden
to you (for food) are dead animals, blood,
the flesh of swine and that over which has been
invoked other than the name of ALLAH (s.w.t) that
which has been killed by strangling or by a violent
blow or by a headlong fall or by being gored to
death; that which has been partly eaten by a wild
animal, unless you are able to slaughter it (in
due form) and that which is sacrificed on stone
Surah Al-Maida 5/3)
is also forbidden (Haram) to eat carnivorous animals
such as lions, tigers, etc., carnivorous birds like
eagles and hawks, scavengers like vultures, mules,
donkeys, rats, mice, dogs, cats and frogs. Some
seafoods, however, are allowed (halal) Eating
meat is not compulsory in Islam, but highly recommended.
Slaying animals for food has been described, clearly,
by the Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him), in
Allah (s.w.t) has prescribed proficiency in all
things; thus, if you kill, kill well and if you
slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen
his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal
has been practiced by him (the Prophet) in
the most perfect and humane way
(and he is a Prophet and a model to follow).
Islamic View Of the Animals:
to make you understand the religious concept of
slaughtering, I would like to give you a brief idea
about how Islam views
animals and what the
Quran and Prophet Muhammad. (peace be upon
him) have said about the animal kingdom and its
place in Islamic teaching.
biggest chapter in the Quran is Al-Baqarah
(The Cow). It contains 286 verses, many of which
are verses of guidance and Islamic instruction for
Other chapters of the Quran with titles related
to the animal kingdom are:
to the Muslim scholars and scientists, these titles
and names of the animals carry behind them some
wisdom and interesting, meaningful ideas. Look at
how these animals have the honor to have chapters
of the Holy Book named after them!
are also other animal names mentioned in the Quran
with the stories relevant to them:
mule, donkey, horse, snake, locusts, whale, pig,
fox, house-fly, carnivorous animals and birds,
frog, bird, calf, fish, sheep, monkey, lice, dog,
goat, bee and many others.
of the species was done a long time ago by ALLAHs
(s.w.t) order in Noahs Ark, without which
we would not know of any animals in our lives today.
This is also a reminder for us to preserve the species
in our lifetime and at any one time.Animals were
created before mankind.
animals are created for the benefit of man (and
there should be a kind, loving relationship and
treatment given by man to them).
can be used, gently and kindly in the way that they
have been created, i.e. you do not ride a cow The
behavior of each animal is a sign of the Excellent
Maker and Creator.
animal has the right to sanctity of life and this
life is taken from some by the permission of ALLAH
(s.w.t) and for good reasons only for food, by the
most humane and merciful ways of killing.
(s.w.t) says in the Quran:
is not an animal on Earth nor a bird that flies
by its wings, but they are
word Community is very interesting;
here we say Chinese Community, Turkish Community
and we imply that this community has its own natural
habits, language and special way of communication,
special ways of food and eating, in recreation and
mating, rearing their offspring and each one is
respected individually with his or her own rights.
This key-word community was mentioned
1,400 years ago in the Quran to stimulate
mankind to study all the different behavior and
needs and to respect the rights of the animals.
Quran says, they are a community
like you. So the rights of the animals
in Islam, and their need for normal physiological
(no genetically modified food) and drink (healthy,
for normal elimination (defecation and urination);
for normal standing, walking, running and flying;
for normal mating and copulation (with no outside
interference of their reproductive system) and
normal rearing of their offspring (full
motherhood and no separation of mother and baby);
no beating, cruelty or any harsh treatment to
be treated individually with full respect for
for recreation; resting, dozing, lying-down and
for social behavior;
sleeping facilities and protection from harsh
for individual comfort; grooming, playing etc.
should be full recognition of the psychological
animals should not be slaughtered in front of others
nor should the knife be sharpened before them; the
baby should not be forcibly removed from the mother.
welfare of the animals must come first,
before monetary profit.
It is forbidden in Islam, to kill an animal in a
cruel way or for pleasure, to use an animal as a
target, to cut a part of it whilst still alive or
finally, to set animals fighting against each other.
above points are
Islam is against the following:
battery cage (factory
farming), fox hunting, bull fighting, cock fighting,
dog fighting, using the animals for targets, culling
seals, killing frogs, caging the animal, most vivisection.
the abuse of drugs in animals and the interference
with their organs sexuality [castration,
you know, all of these problems of cruelty to animals
are endemic and epidemic in the Western society
so you can see that there is a lot to do today in
order to relieve the suffering of animals. This
is especially so as the complaints have been arriving,
day after day (about 50,000) of animal cruelty and
the RSPCA have been treating more than 192.000 animals
per year, due to mens cruelty!
believe that a God-conscious personality is the
best defense against human cruelty to animals and
I am sure that this would save the RSPCA a lot of
Islamic method of slaughtering animals for food
the beginning I would like to mention that the words
of ALLAH [the Creator and the Legislator (swt)]are
the absolute; 100 per cent right, 100 per cent safe
and 100 per cent humane and cannot be put to test
or examination by a human who is created, who is
limited in his outlook and who cannot see or know
everything. However, true scientific study can discover,
sometimes, the wisdom and reason behind some Divine
teachings or orders.
I am talking now about a religious belief, and human
right which cannot be justified by philosophical
argument of scientific testing or human debate or
false assumptions and wrong conclusions. However
to our surprise, when we have looked to our Islamic
method of slaughter, and looked also to the other
methods of slaughter today, and tried to make comparisons
or, as they say, an up-to-date
we were surprised to discover many of the good reasons
behind our method and their signs of their Divine
source and to also discover the failures, problems,
harm and suffering of all the other methods which
are man-made and which have been shown by many scientists
in their study and research.
going into the detail of the Islamic method of slaughter,
please allow me to mention and discuss together
what the best method of slaughter is, generally.
am sure that you will agree with me that the best
method of slaughter should have the following criteria:
for draining most of the blood out;
no stress to the animal;
not cause death before the actual slaughter;
with no fault in any scientific study;
to be humane , causing no pain
or suffering or cruelty,
even to a few individual animals;
no damaging or harmful effects to the quality
of the meat;
to be a sure way of death (reliable);
to be irreversible (slowly and gradually progressing
only one way of killing (direct method);
be practical and realistic; quick and easy to
perform in any society, in any place;
economical (not a lot of machinery and
more familiar to the animal, with less machinery
and restraint (with a less threatening atmosphere);
to perform (no electricity, gas or shocks,
by the community consuming the meat;
by the slaughter man, with no psychological ill-effects
for the believers by ALLAH (s.w.t).
(1982) has identified the important factors which
should be considered when choosing the most suitable
method of slaughter as: humane aspects; capital
and running costs; ease of operation and operator
safety; secondary effects on the carcass and by-product
quality, statutory and religious requirements.
the light of these important factors, I have been
expanding the criteria as shown above, to try to
make the matter easier to understand. I would like
you to remember these points and check them very
well with the Islamic method of slaughter and the
other methods of slaughter used today.
Islamic (halal) method of slaughter can be described
animal has to be lawful
to eat, alive, healthy, to be slaughtered only for
the reason of food, in the name of The Creator,
ALLAH (s.w.t) and not for any other reasons (it
has to be well-fed, not thirsty handled and moved
gently and individually).
be in possession of a clear mind and not under the
influence of alcohol or drugs, trained in the job,
with an awareness of what he is doing.
act of slaughter (Al-Dhabh)
starts by pronouncing the name of ALLAH (s.w.t),
The Creator (BISMILLAH ALLAHU AKBAR ), to
take His permission and in order to make the Slaughter-man
accountable and responsible and to give compassion
and mercy to the animal during this act. Besides,
any action we do in our daily life should be commenced
with the mention of the name of ALLAH (s.w.t ) The
Most Kind, The Most Merciful.
eat not of that where on ALLAHs name has not
been mentioned for verily it is abomination.
Surah Anam 6/121)
Then, by a very, very sharp knife (which should
be kept like a surgeons knife in sharpness
and cleanliness, as previously stated by DR Ghulam
Khan (UFAW, 1971), a
Deep swift cut
done instantaneously and quickly to the blood
vessels of the neck (the two caroid arteries
which carry blood to the brain and head, the
two jugular veins which bring blood from
the brain back to the heart), the trachea
(windpipe) and the oesophagus (gullet), but
the central nervous system (the spinal cord)
should be kept safe and intact (not cut).
deep, large cut through all the blood vessels
of the neck causes
acute blood loss and haemorrhagic shock:
we know the blood is under great pressure , especially
in the big carotid arteries (systolic pressure
) and at high speed and, according to physical law,
the pressure always goes from the high to low resistance
- the point of the cut is the scene of low resistance
for blood to and from the brain. As we have a fully
intact, alive heart, so most of the blood is going
to be pumped and poured out instantaneously and
quickly under pressure leading to a rapid fall
in the blood pressure. Thus depriving the brain
of its main source of oxygen and glucose, and with
no blood which is necessary to keep the animal alive
and functioning and able to deal with any perceptive
sensation this leads to anoxia and almost immediate
loss of consciousness
(anesthetization or stunning
). The cerebrospinal fluid pressure falls even more
rapidly than the blood pressure because of the
jugular veins being cut, and this results in
a deep shock and more
loss of consciousness.
animal, at this stage after the cut, is in a
stable and quiet state
with no movement
or any distressed behavior. One would assume, if
there was any pain or suffering, it would kick,
move or show signs. After this short resting phase,
and because the brain is deprived of oxygen and
blood due to the huge amount of bleeding, the heartbeats
increase in order to increase the flow of blood
to the brain and other deprived areas. Tonic and
clonic involuntary contractions and convulsions
start and occur as automatic physiological reflexes
in order to send and push blood up, especially to
the brain. These contractions and convulsions are
painless (not, as the layman would imagine,
that the kicking is due to the pain) especially
when the animal is already unconscious and still
has an intact spinal cord with safe nerve
centers to the limbs, muscles and organs. So, we
have a huge amount of bleeding from the initial
cut then blood loss is continuing with the squeezing
pressure of these contractions and convulsions,
leading to maximum
and less retention of blood in the carcass, giving
a better quality of meat [both safer and healthier
(this is like direct method of slaughter, but
would like to end this section of my talk with at
least one testimony from, for example, Lord Horder
GCVO, MD, FRCP, who explained this type of slaughtering
scientifically (and without the use of stunning):
animal loses consciousness immediately. It is difficult
to conceive a more painless and rapid mode of death;
for a few seconds after the cut is made, the animal
makes no movement its body is then convulsed, the
convulsive movements continue for about a minute
and then cease. The interpretation of this fact
is clear: the cut is made by a knife so sharp and
so skillfully handled that a state of syncope with
its associated unconsciousness follows instantaneously
upon the severing of the blood pressure. The movement
of the animal which begins at about 90 seconds are
epileptiform in nature and are due to the blood-less
state of the brain (cerebral ischemia with complete
anoxaemia). Sensation has been abolished at the
moment of the initial syncope.
course, there have been many other statements by
eminent scientists giving the same explanations
and conclusions about the direct act of slaughtering
such as DR Leonard Hill (1923), Sir Lovatt Evans,
Professor Harold Burrow, I M Levingen (1979), Professor
F R Bell. Mr. Openshaw, Mr. Hayhurst etc. (Some
are quoted, in Impact Magazine 1985).
me quote Prof. Leonard Hill, F.R.C.V.S, who strongly
believed and expressed his views in his article
that the incision applied in the Ritual Slaughter
causes no pain. Any Surgeon today knows that sudden
big injuries are not felt at the time of infliction.
Pain comes later when the wound is (septic, and)
inflamed. Structures beneath the skin apart from
isolated sensory nerve endings are insensitive to
from the clear Divine laws and orders to us, and
the clear physiological and scientific evidence,
I would like to mention one golden rule in Islam
which, again, fits into the perfection of mercy
to every individual animal.
rule states Any
action or method which will definitely lead to some
harm damage or suffering is to be rejected or, any
action which can be suspected to lead to a prohibited
act is also to be rejected (e.g. eating dead
animals or consuming blood etc.). So
any method of slaughtering which can give us more
blood or a dead animal [before
the cut (for slaughtering) is made] is rejected
facts are indisputably established by the above
That a big injury such as throat cutting is not
felt at the moment of infliction.
That the cutting of big arteries in the throat instantly
arrests the circulation in the brain and abolishes
Charles Lovett Evans, F.R.C.V.S., has this to say:-
" As anyone who has ever witnessed the act
is well aware, the animal lies absolutely still
the moment the vessels arc cut, and it is only a
minute or so later that asphyxia! convulsions set
in. Consciousness we know is lost long before this
On physiological principles, it is clear that when
such large vessels are severed the arterial blood
pressure falls at once to a very low level, moreover
the carotid arteries being severed, much of the
blood supply to the brain is immediately lost and
the result is immediate loss of consciousness. To
consider that the animal suffers pain is, in my
opinion, quite absurd. I consider the method to
be equal to any ".
Leonard Hill says that
no death could be more merciful, taking into account
that the animal unlike man, has no knowledge or
fear of impending death. The death is as quiet and
merciful as that inflicted on murderers by hanging;
to them, of course, the whole of this agony is in
the advancing fear of death which is dated and timed
and known to the victim.
of slaughter used today
captive bolt pistol
commonly for cattle, calves and goats. It is the
shooting, by a gun or pistol in the forehead (mechanical
method) by a blank cartridge or compressed air.
It could be penetrating or non-penetrating (percussion
stunning). It breaks the skull, shatters and destroys
the brain. A rod of steel is introduced in the skull
hole to smash, cut and destroy the brain [pithing:now
to be prohibited in UK and Europe by January 2001].
All this occurs before the real slaughtering cut
is made. Recently, a new method by which a steel
needle to penetrate the skull and brain and in which
air is injected to cause intercranial pressure has
harm and results of this method have been reported
in different scientific and Government reports,
stunning (failure of stunning leading to re-stunning
and double shots (FAWC 1982 and 1984);
of the animal while still conscious (FAWC
1982 and 1984);
skull fracture and considerable damage to
the brain (FAWC 1984);
contamination (Blackmore 1979);
splash (extranvasation of blood from vessels Into
muscle and meat with some clotting of the blood)
hemorrhage (Blackmore 1979);
and injuries from the heavy fall of the animal
after the shot;
reported by Lawton (1971); Temple
stated that tests on sheep and calves indicated
that penetrating captive bolt stunning actually
kills the animal;
or harm to the meat. Marple
Captive bolts should be discontinued in
view of theirdetrimental effect on meat quality.
know that this method is still widely practiced,
especially in the UK!
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
it is done by moving the animal through a room which
contains a mixture of CO2 and air (about 65/70%
CO2 by volume). It is used only for pigs. It is
a form of chemical strangulation. CO2 is a harmful
gas to be inside the body.
and harm reported include;
unacceptable stress (violent excitation,
general agitation and convulsions).
stunning is more stressful than either properly
applied electrical or captive bolt stunning
(Temple Grandin 1980).
strangulation and death to the animal before the
cut; death was reported by Glen (1971).
effect of the gas on the blood and physiology.
is definitely a cruel way for the animal and I
would like to quote here also from FAWC (1984)
when they discussed pain;
It is doubtful
whether the animal feels pain or is even conscious.
This method has
been banned in Holland and many other European
be to head and brain only or to head and back or
to the legs, and there are three varieties:
a. Low Voltage Electrical Stunning by
a pair of scissors-like tongs with circular or rectangular
electrodes which are usually immersed in a saline
solution then applied to the side of the head. Voltage
is not less than 75 volts (50 Hz mains frequency)
for not less than seven seconds.
and harm with this method include:
is cruel, by giving an electric shock directly,
with no anesthesia;
while the animal is conscious (pain);
about the effect and feeling of pain;
missed shots and re-stunning;
of the animal usually occurs within 30-40 seconds.
Electric stunning only induces paralysis, not unconsciousness,
leaving the animal helpless but completely conscious
to pain. (E.H. Callow from his book Food
scientists and physiologists have expressed serious
misgivings; some are of the opinion that the animal
is merely paralyzed by the electric current and
so prevented from making a sound or a movement while
fully conscious and experiences great pain as the
current passes through its body. Such views are
shared by the following Professors and Scientists:
a) Prof. A.C. Ivey (North Western University
b) Prof. M.J. Hertz, of France
c) Prof. Roos & Koopmans, Holland.
does not first involve passing an electric current
through the animals body. The magnitude of
the current passed must be adequate; voltage of
higher rating could lead to bone fractures. Voltage
of lower rating produces electric convulsions without
inducing unconsciousness. A lower voltage rating
needs longer application and this being a matter
of judgment, the human element could lead to failure.
The variations in the sizes of animals and their
individual resistance to the current are also important
me quote the following petition of Meat Packers
in Denmark to the Danish Government:-
with electricity causes extravasation
in the meat, sanguinary
intestines and fractures in
the spinal column, pelvis, shoulder blades,
through the shock. The blood in the meat makes it
more susceptible to putrefaction and
has detrimental effect on taste.
Voltage Electric Stunning
by using an electric shock of 300-400 volts, commonly
used for pigs and sheep.
and harm with this method:
is very cruel by giving a high electric shock
(electrocution to a conscious animal).
a doctor, I have been practicing for more than 10
years and giving electric shocks (stunning)
(Electro-Convulsive Therapy - ECT) to patients (WITH
MENTAL ILLNES) but only after a general anaesthetic.
The Medical Council would strike my name from the
Register if I should ever dare to give ECT without
anaesthesia because it is very cruel to do so. I
wonder, is it not cruel to do this to an animal
too? Although the voltage used in
ECT is smaller than that used for animals, is it
not still cruel?
stunning of calves by the head
only method is inhumane in all
circumstances. (Blackmore 1982);
fibrillation, cardiac inhibition, cardiac disfunction,
cardiac arrest and death; Head
to back stunning induced a cardiac arrest in all
(Gregory and Wotton, 1984);
>From a physiological standpoint,
the stunned animal is more highly stressed.
quoted by Temple Grandin 1980);
level of blood splashing in the carcass (Gilbert,
Blackmore, and Warrington); Electric
stunning raised the blood pressure by 31/2
I would like to quote, It is difficult to
determine the sensitivity of an animal to pain during
the first few seconds of stunning while the electric
current is applied. (FAWC
also quote Baldwin 1971 (quoted by Biala 1983):
The question whether the animal is suffering
pain during the period of consciousness in not so
readily appropriate to objective experimental investigation.
Water Bath for Poultry Stunning
The birds are suspended on the shackle (upside
down) then the head is intended to come into contact
with the water and the passage of an electric shock
through the brain. (FAWC 1982)
and harm with this method:
very cruel way to give the electric shock, especially
in this uncomfortable position;
and suffocation resulting in death.
was well-documented that some birds were taken,
alive to the
(to remove the skin and feathers) (Heath
et al 1983).
of the birds are dead (mitah) in the stunner and
one-third are not stunned.
from the stunner;
substantial number were
as a result of the
shock from the stunner.
dead in UK, MAFF 1999, 17 to 37% in
USA) In this report, they emphasized, clearly,
eight reasons why stunning may not be satisfactory
(please see the report for details)].
by failure of
regard to pain, apart from the above suffering,
the FAWC reported
substantial number maystill be sensitive to pain.
would like conclude this aspect of pain by quoting
from the same poultry report of the FAWC;
physiological aspects of the stunning of poultry
are not well understood and criteria for establishing
insensitivity to pain, suitable for use in working
condition, may well be unreliable.
we have seen in all these methods of slaughtering
today, the following are prevalent and are taken
from 36 scientific studies and research papers:*
to the animal (in at least 7 studies)
before sticking (in at least 7 studies)
effects in the quality of the meat (in
at least 4 studies)
hemorrhage, blood splash, speckle, salt and pepper
hemorrhage as a result of stunning (in
at least 8 studies)
(shown in at least 10 scientific studies) which
throws doubt on the ability to measure pain in
the animal and hints that the animal may be suffering
pain in the different methods of slaughter used.
(Electro-encephalograph): there are at
least 7 studies which throw doubt on thevalidity
of this measure that the animal is conscious or
has lost consciousness.
still do not understand Stunning;
what it does exactly and how it stuns the animal
(even in ECT for the human, we also do not know
what it does and how it works). We are still unable
to define pain and sensation of the animal (and
we will be unlikely to do so) and to understand
the loss of consciousness and its relation to pain.
I would like to quote Gregory and Wotton (1985):
There is as yet no unequivocable scientific
evidence which shows how electrical stunning stuns
they said, There
is no information on the brain (glucose
and oxygen thresholds) required to support consciousness
and memory retention respectively.
to the use of stunning: Van der Wal 78, Wernberg
79, Mcloughlin 71, Pollard 73,
winstanley 81, and Marple 77, etc.
regard to Pain.
I would like to quote from the FAWC Report (1985),
a lack of scientific evidence to
indicate at what stage in the process of losing
consciousness the ability to feel pain ceases.
research should be undertaken to establish:
which indicate that the animal is completely insensible,
what extent reflex actions and movements post-stunning
and sticking indicate an awareness of pain.
also quote Baldwin 1971, (quoted by Biala1983):The
question whether thr animal is suffering pain during
the period of consciousness is not so readily appropriate
to objective experimental investigation.
the 3rd April 1985, The Guardian stated, in an article
Opinion about Pain;
by any other definition,
The Government stated in its White Paper (Cmnd
8883) about measuring pain in an animal.
is, and can be, no definition of the term.
Times newspaper similarly has mentioned, on the
3rd September 1984, in an article entitled Animals
and experiments, Governments Bill will lead
to new guidelines on pain How
can anyone know the extent of the pain an animal
is suffering? ... There is no means of measuring
pain ... a measurement of pain in not possible.(with
all this ignorance
How can any one be sure
and accuse us of inflicting pain to the animal
and be cruel!)
is clearly, beyond any doubt, the least to say that
the assumption of stunning is questionable,
and it is quite unfair for the RSPCA, FAWC and others
to attack Muslims (and Jews), criticizing their
slaughtering methods, and to recommend new laws,
enforcing stunning, which have no
and are unreliable,
owing to the problems, harm and cruelty resulting
from its practice. (People in glass houses should
not throw stones!) It would be useful to hear the
Christian viewpoint and why they have changed methods.
What is the psychology
behind this misconception and misunderstanding?
is mistaken to identify the cut on the animal with
oneself, thinking it is causing pain.
would like to quote Ray & Scott from their book
Humane Emergency of Farm Animals (UFAW):
far as actual physical suffering is concerned, men
often identify themselves with the animal they kill
and assess pain in terms of their own feeling. To
some extent, at least, this attitude is justified
but, whereas man is invariably conscious of the
inevitability and significance of death, animals
usually lack such apprehension unless they are badly
handled and feel menaced
Human feelings, however, should as far as possible
not be allowed to influence the use of the most
In addition, we are insulting a dumb creature which
cannot express its feelings or sensations
by speech, etc.They are,as reported by Rebecca Hall
in her book, Voiceless
industries are always keen to stun as many animals
as possible in the least possible time and so commercial
interests have often been the overriding factor
would like to conclude, that an up-to-date assessment
of the Islamic (or religious) method of slaughter
shows, beyond doubt, that the Divine method is
the only humane method
which is free
from side-effects and secondary effects on the animal
and the consumer and which matches
almost all the criteria for the best method of slaughter
and is to be recommended.
obviously would recommend more research and study
to be done on the religious methods of slaughter
(e.g. the effect of cutting the trachea and oesophagus
on the animal during slaughter). We also need research
into the effect of restraining. Transporting and
using chemicals and drugs on the animals as far
as the meat quality and health are concerned. Also,
we need to study the psychological effect of the
present methods on the slaughter-man himself.
INFORMATIONS: The European Council for Ifta and
Research has given this Fatwa in his meeting in
Koln/Germany on, 1922 May 1999:
is not allowed to eat all the stunned chicken
as many of it die from the effect of STUNNING
is not allowed to eat the meat of cow if it was
stunned as some of it die from the stunning before
Dhabh/Slaughtering The slaughtering of sheeps
in some countries is not different from the Islamic
method of slaughter.
method of stunning will be outlawed in UK/Europe
by January/2001 (because of BSE risk)
is believed that the cows, the sheeps and
the chicken have been fed for long times meat/offal/by
products from the animals and blood which are
all not allowed in Islam;
is called: LAJIM AL -JALLALAH, when
any of these VEGETFJRIAN animals are fed unnatural
diet or animal protein. Or dirt (all considered
this occurs, according to Fuqaha: you kill, all
these animals you do not drink their milk or eat
their meat and eggs. Alternatively you starve them
near to death (3 to 40 days) then you feed them
their natural vegetarian diet
is a big question mark (?) on all meat from the
cow due to BSE or Mad cow disease.
There is also a question mark (?) on all chicken
and sheeps when they are fed: animal protein
or the meat of other animals.
is a big danger in all the meat imported from Europe,
Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Brazil etc., to
is believed that they are not slaughtered in the
proper Islamic HALAL way and without stunning.
it is believed that they have been fed with unnatural
diet (animal protein). There is a growing
campaign in the West against feeding these animals
which we eat: Genetically modified food which could
Harmful and with health hazards.
Muslims in Britain are joining with these non-Muslim
organizations and Christians in: Genetic Engineering
Alliance, the big Umbrella organization;
are advised to join them.
active bodies like; Friends of the Earth, Green
peace, the Soil Association etc. They do have a
lot of useful studies and reports, which can be
very helpful to the Muslims. (See also many of their
health grounds, Muslims should oppose hormones and
antibiotics to be given to the animals
need badly: Muslim scientists in the field of animal
slaughter and to investigate more: our HALAL method,
need badly to grow our own animals in our
own farms in the natural way or organic.
and all chemicals should be avoided, as they have
been proved harmful to health.
Muslim countries could be on the way like the west
for BSE and other diseases as they use STUNNING
and do feed their animals unnatural diet or
big international Muslim body to investigate and
explore all, these dangers to our Muslim Ummah and
to stop all these harmful unnatural haram practices.
massive publicity campaign is urgently needed. It
is allowed in Britain and in many European countries
to slaughter the animals without stunning (for Muslims
and Jews) there are haram ingredients in many food
in the supermarkets.
fruits/vegetables are not safe due to pesticides
and insecticides, additives, coloring etc.
individuals are those who know whom to consult and
how to get the most benefit from their opinions:
such people are a pleasure to work with. Insensitive,
thoughtless individuals, so complacent about their
own knowledge or competence in an affair that they
will intimidate others into accepting their opinions,
are always unbearable to those who must work with
Islamic Medical Association
North Circular Road,
N13 5EG, UK
Tel & Fax:
0208 345 6220
E F E R E N CE S
Sources and General References;
- THE QURAN.
Muslirn(the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad~.peace
- The concordance
of words of the Ouran
animals for food,the Islamic way by Dr G.M.
- The Science
of the animals ,by Aljahez.
- The Bible(Good
& Pre-requisites of Slaughter according
to Shariya of Islam (Muslim world League ,Secretaria
- The Report
of the Ministry of Awgaf about Slaying the animals
for food. (United Arab Emirates).
Regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Jan/1986:Joint meeting of the League of Muslim
world(LMW) and the World Health organisation (WHO)
on Islamic rules governing foods of animal origin.
killing and Slaughterhouse Techniques (UFAW Symposium
animal welfare council :Report on the welfare
of Poultry at the time of slaughter.Jan/1982.
animal welfare council zReport on the welfare
of Livestock(Red Meat animals) at the time of
animal welfare council:Report on the welfare of
Livestock when slaughtered by Religious methods.July/1985.
- The Guardian
3rd April/ 985
- The Times
3rd Sept 1984.
magazine :23 Aug/85 and 26th Sept/85.
STUDIES AND PAPERS:
Slaughtering procedures: i; Survey of Abattoir practice;
(Gregory,Wotton), Br Vet J/1984.
Slaughtering procedures: ii; Time to loss of Brain
Responsiveness after exsanguinations or cardiac
arrest. [Gregory,Wotton (Brit Vet J /1984)]
Slaughtering procedures: iii; Head to back electrical
stunning. (Gregory, Wotton. Brit Vet J/1984)
Slaughtering procedures: iv; Responsiveness of the
pain following electrical stunning. (Gregory, Wotton;
Brit Vet J/1985).
in stunning and slaughter. (21st Meat industry Research
of different slaughter methods on bleeding sheep.(Blackmore,
vet record 16/Oct/76)
percussion stunning of sheep & calves; (Blackmore,
Vet record,20 Oct/79).
and slaughter of sheep & calves in Newzealand,.
(Blackmore & Peterson ,NZ Vet,.J. 29. 99102).
studies of the efficacy of electrical stunning of
sheep & calves. (Blackmore & Newhook,
26th European meeting of Meat Reserch workers
of slaughter method on chemistry and property of
Lamb meat (Phd thesis by Dr A.S.Biala).
of electrical stunning method and cardiac arrest
on bleeding efficiency, residual blood,& blood
splash in lambs.(Kirton, Frazerhurst, Woods &
Chrystal; Meat science,198081).
observations on the slaughter of Poultry. (Heath,
Watt, Waite, & Meakins). Brit,Vet J/83.
method of slaughtering animals for food & its
influence on blood supply to the brain & on
the normal functioning of the nervous system. (I.M.Levinger:
Animal Regulation studies 2,1979).
attitudes to the slaughter of food animals. (M.Abdussalam,
Animal Regulation studies, 3.19801981).
slaughter is it a ritual method: (Helmy, Al-Sanae,
Alnisuf & AlSultan: lst International
conference on Islamic medicine ,Kuwait/1981).
in the Carotid & Vertebral arteries of the sheep
and calf; (Baldwin, Bell: J.Physiol/1963).
on Blood pressure in the sheep & calf of clamping
some of the arteries contributing to the Cephalic
circulation. (Baldwin, Bell: PhysIol/1963).
of Seminar Res. Inst of Animal Prod (Netherlands/82),
studies of stunning & slaughter of sheep and
calves: part i: the onset of permanent insensibility
in sheep during slaughter. (Newhock, Blackmore;
Meat Sci, 1982).
studies of stunning & slaughter of sheep and
calves. part ii: the onset of permanent insensibility
in calves during slaughter. (Newhook,Blackmore;
Meat Sci 1982).
of Captive Bolt Stunning in Ruminants. (Lampooy,
Logtesting, Sybesma; Proceeding Res. Inst. of Animal
Proceeding of seminar; Res. Inst. of Anim,Prod/82
of calves & sheeps (Lambooy; Proceeding Res,
Inst of animal Prod/82 ,Netherlands).
(Proceeding Res Inst of Animal Prod/82 Netherlands)
assessment of insensibility in sheep, calves &
Pigs during slaughter: (Blackmore, Nèwhook:
Proc, of Sem, Resp, lnst, of Ani,Prod/82,Netherlsands)
on the central nervous system: Visually evoked cortical
responses in sheep (Gregory, Wotton; Research in
problems associated with the slaughter of Stock:
(Blackmore; Proc of a Seminar at Res. Inst of
animal prod/82 Netherlands).
with Kosher slaughter:(Temple Grandin; lnt. J. Stu.
ani. prod/1980) -
Electrical & Anesthetic stunning methods for
Livestock: (Temple Grandin:Int.J.Stu.ani.Prod/1980)
assessment of unconsciousness: General principles
& practical aspects (Lopes da Silva: Proceedings
of a seminar held at the research institute of animal
survey of Current methods of Stunning of Farm Animals
in EEC countries (G..V Mickwitz: Proceeding research.
Inst. of anim.prod.Netherlands/1982).
Humanity methods of Slaughter: Dr.L.Hill. (The Lancet/192
What is it & how can it be quantified? (T.H.Friend:Int.J.Stud.Anim..Problems/1980).
between Time of Stunning & Time of Throat cutting
and their effect on blood pressure & blood splash
in lambs. (Kirton, Bishop, Mullord: Meat Sci/1978)
DOCUMENT ON DRAFT GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR USE OF
THE TERM "HALAL"
The draft General Guidelines for Use of the Term
"Halal", which are being considered by
the Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on
Food Labelling. Here is some background information
You may find helpful.
Codex Alimentarius Commission is the international
body responsible for the execution of the Joint
FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The commission
was created in 1962 by FAO and WHO. The program
is aimed at protecting the health of consumers and
facilitating international trade in foods.
Codex Alimentarius is a collection of international
food standards adopted by the Commission and presented
in a uniform manner. It includes standards for all
the principal foods, whether processed, semi-processed
or raw. The Codex Alimentarius includes provisions
in respect of the hygienic and nutritional quality
of food, including micro biological norms, provisions
for food additives, pesticide residues, contaminants,
labelling and presentation, and methods of analysis
and sampling. It also includes provisions of an
advisory nature in the form of codes of practice,
guidelines (such as the enclosed proposed draft
General Guidelines for Use of the Term "Halal")
and other recommended measures.
are generally eight 'steps' to the adoption of Codex
standards, codes of practice, guidelines or other
recommended measures which are as follows:
1, 2 and 3
Commission decides that a measure should be proposed
and also which subsidiary body or other body should
undertake the work.
Secretariat arranges for the preparation of a draft,
which is circulated to Members of the Commission
and interested international organizations for comment
on all aspects, including possible implications
for their economic interests.
comments received are sent by the Secretariat to
the subsidiary body concerned which has the power
to consider such comments and to amend the draft.
draft is submitted through the Secretariat to the
Commission or to the Executive Committee with a
view to its adoption. In taking any decision at
this step, the Commission or the Executive Committee
will give due consideration to any comments that
may be submitted by any of it's Members regarding
the implications which the proposed draft or any
provisions thereof may have for their economic interests.
draft is sent by the Secretariat to all Members
and interested international organizations for comment
on all aspects, including possible implications
of the draft standard for their economic interests.
comments received are sent by the Secretariat to
the subsidiary body or other body concerned, which
has the power to consider such comments and amend
draft is submitted through the Secretariat to the
Commission together with any written proposals received
from Members and interested international organizations
for amendments at Step 8 with a view to its adoption
as a Codex Measure.
the 23rd Session of the Codex Committee on Food
Labelling on 24-2 October the Committee agreed to
forward the proposed draft General Guidelines for
Use of the Term "Halal" to the 21st Session
of the Code Alimentarms Commission on 3-8 July 1995
for adoption at Step 5 (see above Consequently,
your views are now being sought. It was further
agreed that the Codex Co-ordinating Committee for
Asia would be informed of this decision and that
specific comments would be solicited at step 6.
draft General Guidelines are intended to enhance
and complement Section 5.1(iv) of the Codex General
Guidelines on Claims. These support the general
principles set out in the Codex General Standard
for the labelling of Pre packed Foodstuffs that
foods should not be described or presented in a
manner which is false, misleading or deceptive.
These principles form the basis of both EC and UK
food labelling legislation.
GENERAL GUIDELINES ON CLAIMS
1 1979 (REV. 1 1991)
Codex General Guidelines on Claims was adopted by
the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its 13th Session,
1979. A revised version of the Codex General Guidelines
on Claims was adopted by the 19th Session of the
Commission in 1991. It has been sent to all Member
Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO as
an advisory text, and it is for individual governments
to decide what use they wish to make of the Guidelines.
SCOPE AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES
1.1 These guidelines relate to claims made for a
food irrespective of whether or not the food is
covered by an individual Codex Standard.
The principle on which the guidelines are based
is that no food should be described or presented
in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive
or likely to create an erroneous impression regarding
its character in any respect.
The person marketing the food should be able to
justify the claims made.
For the purpose of these guidelines, a claim is
any representation which states, suggests or implies
that a food has particular characteristics relating
to its origin, nutritional properties, nature, production,
processing, composition or any other quality.
The following claims should be prohibited:
Claims stating that any given food will provide
an adequate source of all essential nutrients, except
in the case of well defined products for which a
Codex standard regulates such claims as admissible
claims or where appropriate authorities have accepted
the product to be an adequate source of all essential
Claims implying that a balanced diet of ordinary
foods cannot supply adequate amounts of all nutrients.
Claims which cannot be substantiated.
Claims as to the suitability of a food for use in
the prevention, alleviation, treatment or cure of
a disease, disorder, or particular physiological
condition unless they are:
(a) In accordance with the provisions of Codex standards
or guidelines " for foods under jurisdiction
of the Committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses
and follow the principles set forth in these guidelines.
(b) In the absence of an applicable Codex standard
or guideline, permitted under the laws of the country
in which the food is distributed.
Claims which could give rise to doubt about the
safety of similar food or which could arouse or
exploit fear In the consumer.
POTENTIALLY MISLEADING CLAIMS
The following are examples of claims which may be
Meaningless claims including incomplete comparatives
Claims as to good hygienic practice, such as "wholesome",
The following claims should be permitted subject
to the particular condition attached each:
(i) An indication that a food has obtained an increased
or special nutritive value by means of the addition
of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and amino
acids may be given only if such an addition has
been made on the basis of nutritional considerations
according to the Codex General Principles for the
Addition of Essential Nutrients to Foods. This kind
of indication should be subject to legislation by
the appropriate authorities.
(ii) An indication that the food has special nutritional
qualities by the reduction or omission of a nutrient
should be on the basis of nutritional considerations
and subject to legislation by the appropriate authorities.
(iii) Terms such as "natural", "pure",
"fresh", "home made", "organically
grown" and "biologically grown" when
they are used, should be in accordance with the
national practices in the country where the food
is sold.The use of these terms should be consistent
with the prohibitions set out in Section 3.
(iv) Religious or Ritual Preparation (e.g. Halal,
Kosher) of a food may be claimed provided that the
food conforms to the requirements of the appropriate
religious or ritual authorities.
(v) Claims that a food has special characteristics
when all such foods have the same characteristics,
if this fact is apparent In the claim.
(vi) Claims which highlight the absence or non-addition
of particular substances to food may be used provided
that they are not misleading and provided that the
(a) Is not subject to specific requirements In any
Codex Standard i Guideline:
(b) is one which consumers would normally expect
to find in the food;
(c) has not been substituted by another giving the
food equivalent characteristics unless the nature
of the substitution is clearly stated with equal
(d) is one whose presence or addition is permitted
in the food.
(vii) Claims which highlight the absence or non-addition
of one or more nutrients should be regarded as nutrition
claims and therefore should invoke mandatory nutrient
declaration in accordance with the Codex Guidelines
on Nutrition Labeling.
GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF THE TERM HALAL
STEP 5 OF THE PROCEDURE
These guidelines recommend measures to be taken
on the use of Halal claims in food labelling.
These guidelines apply to the use of the term Halal
and equivalent terms in claims as defined in the
General Standard for the Labelling of Pre-packaged
Foods and include its use in trade marks, brand
names and business names.
guidelines are intended to supplement the Draft
Revision of the Codex General Guidelines on Claims
and do not supersede any prohibition contained
Halal Food means food permitted under the
Islamic Law and should fulfil the following conditions:
(i) Does not consist of or contain anything which
is considered to be unlawful according to Islamic
(ii) Has not been prepared, processed, transported
or stored using any appliance or facility that was
not free from anything unlawful according to Islamic
(iii) Has not in the course of preparation, processing,
transportation or storage been in direct contact
with any food that fails to satisfy (i) and (ii)
Notwithstanding Section 2.1 above:
(i) Halal food can be prepared, processed
or stored [in different sections or lines] within
the same premises where non-halal foods are produced,
provided that necessary measures are taken to prevent
any contact between Halal and non-halal foods;
(ii) Halal food can be prepared, processed,
transported or stored using facilities which have
been previously for non-halal foods provided that
proper cleaning procedures, according to Islamic
requirements. have been observed.
CRITERIA FOR USE OF THE TERM "HALAL"
The term Halal may be used for foods which
are considered lawful. Under the Islamic Law, all
sources of food are lawful except the following
sources, including their products and derivatives
which are considered unlawful:
Food of Animal Origin
(a) Pigs and boars.
(b) Dogs, snakes and monkeys.
(c) Carnivorous animals with claws and fangs such
as lions, tigers, bears, and other similar animals.
(d) Birds of prey with claws such as eagles, vultures
and other similar birds.
(e) Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and
other similar animals.
(f) Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam i.e.
ants, bees and woodpecker birds.
(g) Animals which are considered repulsive generally
like lice, flies, maggots and other similar animals.
(h) Animals that live both on land and in water
such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar animals.
(i) Mules and domestic donkeys.*
(j) All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.
(k) Any other animals not slaughtered according
to Islamic Law
Food of Plant Origin
Intoxicating and hazardous plants.
(a) Alcoholic Drinks.
(b) All forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks.
All food additives derived from Item 3.1 (i), (ii)
All lawful land animals should be slaughtered in
compliance with the following requirements:
(i) The slaughterman should be a Muslim who is mentally
sound and knowledgeable of the Islamic slaughtering
(ii) The animal to be slaughtered should be lawful.
(iii) The animal to be slaughtered should be alive
or deemed to be alive at the time of slaughtering.
(iv) The head and front of the animal should be
directed towards Qibla. (i.e towards Makkah)*
(v) The phrase "Bismillah Allahu Akbar"
(in the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest) should
be invoked during slaughtering.
(vi) The slaughtering device should be sharp and
should not be lifted off the animal during the slaughter
(vii) The slaughter act should sever the trachea,
oesophagus and main arteries and veins of the neck
(viii) The animal must not be stunned, anaesthetized
or otherwise rendered wholly or partilly insensible
before slaughter. It must be fully conscious when
it is slaughtered.**
PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKAGING, TRANSPORTATION
All food should be prepared, processed, packaged,
transported and stored in such a manner that it
complies with item 2.1 and 2.2 above and the Codex
General Principals on Food Hygiene and other relevant
ADDITIONAL LABELLING REQUIREMENTS
When a claim is made that a food is Halal,
the word Halal or equivalent terms should
appear on the label.
In accordance with the Draft Revision of the Codex
General Guidelines on Claims, claims on Halal
should not be used in ways which could give
rise to doubt about the safety of similar food or
claims that Halal foods are nutritionally
superior to, or healthier than, other foods.
The Committee agreed to add the amendments in square
brackets (Sections 3.1(i)(m) and 3.2(iv) for additional
The Government decided in 1987 that the religious
slaughter of animals without pre-stunning should
continue to be permitted. The Muslims are exempt
(THE MUSLIM) DO NOT HAVE TO STUN