London /UK Dear all, Ref: Muslim Medical Response to the Consultation on the Beef and Lamb All-Party Parliamentary Group We would like first to thank you for giving us the chance to respond to your Consultation on Religious slaughter regarding Beef and Lamb. We would like in the beginning, to inform you that, our organisation: ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION(IMA)/UK ,was the first and the only Muslim organisation in the UK in the beginning, who took seriously the issue of Religious slaughter , as by-law , and without the use of any type of stunning and in order to have true HALAL MEAT for the Muslim consumers. Our Campaign started about 43 years ago, by the Founder and Ex-President of the organisation: Dr Ghulam M Khan, who wrote before a scientific book on Religious slaughter and stunning:
AL-DHABH Slaying animals the Islamic wayIt was The first Muslim book on Religious slaughter. (we can send you a copy of the book in PDF in a separate E mail). We campaigned all these years to KEEP the law as it is : by allowing both:Muslims and Jews to slaughter their animals according to their religions and without the use of any stunning. (Exemption from stunning). The Act of halal animal slaughter(direct method) is clearly prescribed and in details in the teachings of Islam and by all different schools of thoughts in the Muslim world(without stunning).. This holy divine method was implemented before by all Prophets of GOD like: Abraham, Moses ,Jesus and Muhammad(peace be upon them). Our beloved Jesus was a Jew and he ate and blessed Kosher meat (without any stunning to the animal). We believe that the Christians today are not implementing the teachings of Jesus on animal slaughter! British Muslims and all Muslims in the world fully support all animal care and welfare ,all sciences and technology and all hygiene and regulations in animal slaughter, but the holy direct method of animal slaughter ,without the use of stunning, should be allowed and maintained , in order to supply true halal meat to our own Muslim consumers.
Our Islamic opposition to the use of any stunning is based on a lot of reasons , as we will explain in details later.
SOME OF THESE REASONS:
-Humane/animal welfare/Physiological explanation of the Cut
– Plus: The many Cruelty and non islamic and undesirable outcomes resulting from the use of stunning .
Many of these reasons were explained well before in my scientific medical study on stunning and the Islamic Prophetic direct method of animal slaughter( AN UP-TO-DATE ASSESSMENT OF THE MUSLIM METHOD OF SLAUGHTER) , which was presented in a Symposium organised by UFAW in 1986 in the Zoological Society of London.
The title of the Symposium was : HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS FOR FOOD
I will be quoting some of what I have mentioned before in my study;
We have to emphasize first that RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER if done PROPERLY ,will give “painless” quick irreversible peaceful natural physiological death , as GOD asked us to do!
Allow me now to give some medical physiological explanation of the Act of proper Religious slaughter , as stated in my previous medical study:
“Then, 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 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).
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”
Two facts are indisputably established by the above Professor:
a) That a big injury such as throat cutting is not felt at the moment of infliction.b) That the cutting of big arteries in the throat instantly arrests the circulation in the brain and abolishes consciousness.
Prof. 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 “.
Prof. 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.
MUSLIMS AND JEWS AND OTHERS BELIEVE THAT PROPER RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER CAUSES “NO PAIN” AND IT IS A MYTH AND IS WRONG UNFAIR AND UNJUST TO ACCUSE US OF BEEN CRUEL TO ANIMALS IN OUR DIRECT METHOD OF RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER WITHOUT STUNNING!
There is no single proper scientific evidence in the world which prooved that the proper divine Islamic method of animal slaughter(Dhabh) when done properly causes any pain or suffering to the animal at time of slaughter.
Similarly, there is no single scientific study in the world which proved that stunning surely causes no pain to the animal ?On the contrary, there are scientific medical studies which proved that stunning causes pain and suffering to the animal: (Please see the famous study carried out by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and his colleague Dr Hazim at the School of Veterinary Medicine,Hanover University in Germany/12/7/02).The study titled: Attempts to Objectify Pain and Consciousness in Conventional(Captive bolt pistol stunning) and Ritual (Halal/knife) Methods of slaughtering Sheep and Calves ; This study has proved evidences of pain and suffering through the repeated EEG records and testing on the brain when the animal is stunned. On the contrary, there was no evidence at all that the direct Islamic/Religious method of animal slaughter has caused any pain or suffering to the any unstunned animal . In fact it is a common sense and logic that if any electricity is applied to the human body of any one of us it will cause pain and suffering and sometimes death…However unfortunately our stunned animals can not talk or complaint or protest!
The Farm Animal Welfare Council(FAWC) seems to contradict itself before when it has mentioned in its Report in 2003:DIFFICULT TO MEASURE PAIN AND DISTRESS DURING THE SLAUGHTER PROCESS IN AN OBJECTIVE SCIENTIFIC MANNER….” (Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing:Part 1:Red Meat Animals/clause 194)
BRITISH MUSLIMS HAVE GOT ALSO OTHER REASONS TO OPPOSE ANY TYPE OF STUNNING:
-Stunning causes direct pain and suffering to the animal who can not talk as we said before ..
–Stunning can KILL some animals before doing the act of slaughter/Cut…
as by stopping the heart !
In Islam: the meat of any animal who dies from any reason apart from the act of slaughter/cut is not halal and can not be eaten !
-Stunning can weaken the heart which will cause reduction in the amount of bleeding out and stunning can causes “SALT AND PEPPER HAEMORRHAGE” : unseen blood staying inside the muscles/meat.
The Consumption of any blood is forbidden in Islam.
Also medically as we know ,blood if consumed is very harmful to health !
-Electric stunning affects and damages the natural healthy quality of the meat ,according to some medical studies.
-One type of the Captive Bolt pistol used for cows have been found to spread BSE/Mad Cow disease?
This is why many States in the US has stopped using it !
-Also in many animals stunned ,there are:
Failure of stunning, repeat stunning, burns, paralysis of the animal while is still conscious , broken bones etc..
All these are cruel and cause pain and suffering to the animals!
FOR ALL THESE REASONS ONE CAN SEE “CLEAR SCIENTIFIC MEDICAL EVIDENCES” AGAINST THE USE OF ANY STUNNING.
We have to emphasize also that :Islam is full of fascinating instructions on animal care and welfare during the whole life of the animal and with special unique humane instructions at time of slaughter.
(Please see my study/report on animal care and welfare in Islam upon request).
NO DOUBT THE BEST METHOD OF ANIMAL SLAUGHTER SHOULD HAVE THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
- Allows for draining most of the blood out;
- Causes no stress to the animal;
- Does not cause death before the actual slaughter;
- Found with no fault in any scientific study;
- Proved to be humane’ , causing no “pain” or suffering or cruelty, even to a few individual animals;
- Causes no damaging or harmful effects to the quality of the meat;
- Found to be a sure way of death (reliable);
- Found to be irreversible (slowly and gradually progressing to death);
- With only one way of killing (direct method);
- To be practical simple and realistic; quick and easy to perform in any society, in any place;
- ‘Very economical’ (not a lot of machinery and equipment, etc.);
- Being more familiar to the animal, with less machinery and restraint (with a less threatening atmosphere);
- Safe to perform (no electricity, gas or shocks, etc.);
- Accepted by the community consuming the meat; (HALAL)
- Liked/accepted by the slaughter man, with no psychological ill-effects on him;
- Blessed for the believers IN GOD/ ALLAH .
AMAZINGLY ALL THESE CRITERIA ARE FULFILLED ONLY IN THE DIRECT RELIGIOUS METHOD OF SLAUGHTER WITHOUT ANY STUNNING;
WE BRITISH MUSLIMS OPPOSE ALL OR ANY TYPE OF STUNNING OR POST-CUT STUNNING.
THIS IS THE BELIEF OF OVER 30 MILLION MUSLIMS IN WESTERN EUROPE AND ABOUT 1600 MILLION MUSLIMS IN THE WORLD.
It might be a good idea , as the British Muslim Consumers would like to eat sure true Halal meat from animals which were not stunned.
But to do that, we like similarly to LABEL THE MEAT COMING FROM STUNNED ANIMALS
By explaining the method of animal slaughter :Electricity ,gun/bullet , gas etc…
We have to remember also THE STRONG ECONOMICAL REASON AND BENEFIT FOR BRITAIN IN SUPPLYING THE LOCAL MUSLIM CONSUMERS, EUROPEAN MUSLIMS AND MANY MUSLIMS IN THE WORLD : TRUE HALAL BLESSED MEAT FROM UNSTUNNED ANIMALS
FINALLY :WE REQUEST THE MPs/ THE GOVERNMENT TO MAINTAIN AND KEEP THE LAW ON THE EXEMPTION OF BRITISH MUSLIMS( & Jews) FROM USING STUNNING AND TO ALLOW US TO KEEP OUR RELIGIOUS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN ORDER TO EAT OUR OWN HALAL PERMITTED MEAT AS IT IS SURELY A HUMANE METHOD OF ANIMAL SLAUGHTER AND AS THERE IS A GREAT DEMAND FOR IT FROM THE BRITISH MUSLIM CONSUMERS(about 3 million, apart from the Jewish community in Britain)
WE LIKE TO GO FURTHER:
British Muslims would like to recommend to the government and to DEFRA to consider the DIVINE RELIGIOUS METHOD OF ANIMAL SLAUGHTER ,without stunning, for HUMANE, HEALTH , SAFETY , CONSUMERS and RELIGIOUS REASONS.
Perhaps Some Muslim and Jewish scientists will organise proper scientific medical studies and meetings together with DEFRA in order to explore and investigate more the Direct Religious method of animal slaughter ,without any stunning.
ENCLOSED SOME WEBSITES WHICH OPPOSE STUNNING:
-www.unstunnedhalal.com -www.halalmc.co.uk orwww.halalmc.org-www.iccservices.org.uk(regent Park mosque)-www.iccuk.org -www.mcb.org.uk -www.thingsnotsaid.org Jewish website: www.chechitauk.org
Dr A Majid Katme(MBBCH,DPM)
Spokesman: Islamic Medical Association/Uk
Weekly TV Presenter of a Health show.
Tel no: 0044 7944 240 622
31 North Circular Road Palmers Green London N13 5EG UK