BOOK: AL-DHABH:SLAYING THE ANIMAL FOR FOOD: THE ISLAMIC WAY
THE DIRECT ACT OF ANIMAL SLAUGHTER(DHABH):
By using a very, very sharp knife (which should be kept like a surgeon’s 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 carotid 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).
This 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.
The 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 bleeding-out 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 without stunning”)].
I 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):
‘The 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.’
Of 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).
Let 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 the knife.
Apart 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:
The 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”
Ref: From the comparative Scientific Medical study
done by Dr Abdul Majid Katme (MBBCh,DPM)
on The Humane Prophetic method of DHABH(animal slaughter) and STUNNING
13 Jan 1979 – The effects of stress on cattle, pigs and sheep prior to slaughter are reviewed. … ingcaused by mixing strange animals together is a major cause of dark cutters …… abattoirs, In Humane Killing and Slaughterhouse Techniques, …
Good systems are available for handling cattle and sheep at the abattoir. … Stress caused by prolonged restraint will be a severe problem if live animals are
… used to reduce stress in slaughter animals during transport to abattoirs. … trips do not allowanimals enough time to fully recover from the initial stress caused …
Presentation of Dr. Ibrahim Abd El-Rahim