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STUNNING ANIMALS BEFORE SLAUGHTER IS PAINFUL, IS CRUEL, AND ALSO TORTURES ANIMALS!
The Islamic Medical Association and British Muslims were shocked on 5th May to see an erroneous, misguided statement written by Professor Bill Reilly (a consultant in veterinary public health) regarding the religious slaughter of animals used by Muslims and Jews, where he accused us of been cruel to animals as we do not use secular stunning methods before slaughter!
This statement was published in many newspapers ,like the Independent and the Daily Mail… and originated in theVeterinary Record 2012;170:468-469 doi:10.1136/vr.e3100.
We would like to establish the FACTS and separate them from Fiction and Myth
We all are aware that there is no scientific evidence, which has been properly done and agreed to by broad consensus of scientists proving that unstunned animals as actually properly practiced during the religious slaughter of animals suffer pain. Even the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) stated this in its Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing: Part 1: Red Meat Animals (10 June 2003) in clause 194: "It is difficult to measure pain and distress during the slaughter process in an objective scientific manner and subjective indicators…" So how can Professor Reilly claim for sure that the animal feels pain when religious slaughter is done? Where is the scientific evidence? In fact , there is some scientific studies that strongly suggest that stunning causes pain to the animal, i.e., according to EEG brain studies.
It is also common sense that putting electricity onto the skin/body of man or animal causes pain and discomfort and may even cause burning in some cases . It can even lead to death, but animals cannot talk or complain as we all know. Electricity has and is still widely used in the world today to torture people in prisons, so why do we allow this torture by electricity for sentient, innocent, voiceless animals? It must be that financial greed of the slaughter industry, which uses stunning to permit it to kill more animals quickly without showing any respect for the lives being taken.
Or is this rejecting of the religious slaughter of animals a widely erroneous "subjective feeling" , that is predicated on a number of false assumptions that are encouraged by the power structure. Do many people believe that by doing the direct cut with a razor sharp knife on a conscious living animal that it causes pain to the animal? Or is it the mere medical physiological ignorance of the public about the medical physiology of the animal that makes them regarding the cut when done properly in religious slaughter a problem?
Medically and physiologically religious slaughter can be fully explained: A proper cut to the major blood vessels in the neck will produce a large haemorrhage followed quicly by haemorrhagic shock with immediate loss of consciousness and "instantaneous anaesthesia" or "stunning" leading to unconsciousness, especially as the blood is under high pressure and will come out quickly when a large big hole has been opened by a razor sharp long knife, in the right anatomical site of the neck of animal. In this way the animal is rendered unconscious painlessly leading to a painless death. The brain is immediately deprived of its "living blood supply"(glucose and oxygen) which are essential for its functioning or for any feeling of pain, if there were any!
It is a MYTH, it is an ILLUSION and is a DELUSION, too, to consider proper religious slaughter of animals without stunning as painful and cruel. The British public is unaware that in the US religious slaughter is officially considered a HUMANE METHOD of slaughter! We do recognize that any improper Religious slaughter might cause pain or discomfort to the animal and it is the responsibility of the religious communities to assure that this does not happen.
It is important to mention also one fact ,as most public is not aware,that Religious slaughter,without the use of stunning,is allowed in the UK and is LEGAL and according of the law of the land!
One more thing: Muslim and Jewish believers have discovered that there are many FORBIDDEN(Haram) outcomes that result when stunning is used with animals. So there are additional reasons to oppose stunning, like:
-The death of some animals before doing the cut or the act of slaughter, especially in poultry. FAWC reported that about 1/3 of the chickens are dead before doing the cut/slaughter. In Islam it is forbidden to eat the meat of any animal who died before slaughter.
-Blood: staying inside the meat(Salt and Pepper haemorrhage) and is unseen,when the capillaries and small blood vessels in the meat crack up and explode from the power of electricity?
Blood if consumed is harmful to health and is forbidden to consume in Islam!
-BSE/Mad cow disease risks increase when the captive bolt pistol is used to crack open the skull of cattle to stun them.
For Muslims, the meat that is produced according to the religious requirements is TAYYIB ( natural) while that when stunning has been used is not Tayyib.
It is important to emphasize that in the secular abattoirs, there is also a lot of cruelty inflicted on the animals before slaughter:
Kicking, beating and sticking and pushing of the animals in a harsh disrespectful way.
Moreover, much of the public is not aware that in using stunning: Some animals become paralysed while conscious, some have broken bones. And that does not consider the pain when an animal is mistuned and has to be stunned again. The best animal well-being standards permit a 5% mis-stun. However, some plants get down to about 3% — but that is a lot of animals suffering.
It is important to remember that CRUELTY AND MALTREATMENT of animals are rampant and rife in our modern world. Our advice to Compassion in World Farming and all the other animal welfare organisations is to concentrate more on the huge and increasing suffering of animals on our farms(factory farming/cage batteries…), secular slaughterhouses, and in homes. There is a lot of important work to do. People should know that all the believers in the three Abrahamic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, believe in the same proper religious slaughter. Jesus (who was a Jew) peace be upon him, ate only the meat from unstunned animals, and he blessed it too with a prayer…but unfortunately, most of our Christian friends, are not following the great noble teachings of Jesus…We wish they were!
Finally, we would like to say that: "IT IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR ANY NON-MUSLIM TO INTERFERE WITH OUR RELIGION, OUR BELIEFS AND OUR ISLAMIC PRACTICES. IT IS ARROGANT FOR SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A MUSLIM TO PRESUME THAT HE CAN TEACH US THE PRACTICE OF OUR FAITH…
GOD PROTECT US FROM THOSE WHO THINK THEY KNOW BETTER THAN HE…
Dr A Majid Katme(MBBCh,DPM)
Spokesman: Islamic Medical Association/UK on Religious slaughter
T: 07944 240 622
NB: Please see :
– My new website, which is partly done: www.halaltayyibmeat.com
See also in the website(Introduction):
Animal Care and Welfare(Superior rights of the animal in Islam)
– My comparative medical study on stunning,published on AL AZHAR website: (http://www.azhar.jp/info/halal-eng/halal5.html)
– We are available for interview
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