Reasons why Jews oppose mechanical, electrical or other methods of stunning:
- Shechita must be the only method of slaughter for food animals as laid down in the Torah (Al-Taurat)
- The animal must be living, viable and undamaged (stunning inflicts damage to the animal which makes the meat non-kosher for Jews (Haram)
- Stunning introduces another aspect to the slaughter procedure which is forbidden
- The shechita method automatically renders the animal unconscious (stun) so there is no need to use another stunning method either before or after slaughter
- With post-cut stunning the process of dying is interfered with, thus it might not be known with certainty what caused the death.
In addition to being an unwarranted interference, the effect of an imposed post-cut stun could prevent the animal from making the involuntary post-mortem reflexes which facilitate exsanguination from the carcase, thereby causing the halachic (Jewish Religious Law) problem of blood being absorbed back into the meat. This would be contrary to religious requirements, since the blood is forbidden to be eaten by Jews.
The sudden impact of stunning can cause the following injuries in an animal: lacerations of the capillaries in the lungs; pathological changes in the central nervous system; a common result is also vertebral fracture.
Stunning of poultry is also forbidden by Jews for the above reasons. Research by Animal Aid has shown that the electrical stunning of poultry causes much suffering, it is impossible to give the correct voltage to each bird on the line resulting in some chickens receiving too little electrical current to render them unconscious, a most painful experience, and other chickens who receive a lethal shock will be dead before slaughter.
From a hygiene perspective stunning before slaughter does not allow full bleed-out and blood is retained in the carcase. Since blood putrefies very rapidly harmful bacteria accumulate in the meat fibres which greatly reduces its meat-keeping qualities.
Meat slaughtered by shechita is painless to the animal and healthier for humans,
I hope this has been helpful. Good luck in Bosnia Inshallah
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
of The United Kingdom and Commonwealth
140 Stamford Hill
London N16 6QT
Tel: 020 8802 6226 #218
Fax: 020 8809 6590