ASSESSMENT OF THE MUSLIM METHOD OF SLAUGHTER
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
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 details
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:
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
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 to
(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 (altars).
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 his saying,
(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 he slaughters
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 the believers.
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
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
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 behavior are::
(no genetically modified food) and drink (healthy, natural),
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 the body;
for recreation; resting, dozing, lying-down and play facilities;
for social behavior;
sleeping facilities and protection from harsh weather;
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, sterility etc.(reproduction)]
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 work.
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 assessment
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 to
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 equipment,
more familiar to the animal, with less machinery and restraint
(with a less threatening atmosphere);
to perform (no electricity, gas or shocks, etc.);
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
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 as
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).
slaughter-man must 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
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
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
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 the knife.
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.).
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 Professor:
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 consciousness.
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 been
harm and results of this method have been reported in different
scientific and Government reports, as follows:
stunning (failure of stunning leading to re-stunning and
double shots (FAWC 1982 and 1984);
of the animal while still conscious (FAWC 1982
skull fracture and considerable damage to the brain
contamination (Blackmore 1979);
splash (extranvasation of blood from vessels Into muscle
and meat with some clotting of the blood) (Blackmore
hemorrhage (Blackmore 1979);
and injuries from the heavy fall of the animal after the
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.
(Quoted by Biala 1983)
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
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 countries
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
and harm with this method include:
is cruel, by giving an electric shock directly, with no
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 Hygiene)
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 of America)
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 considerations.
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
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.
fibrillation, cardiac inhibition, cardiac disfunction,
cardiac arrest and death; Head
to back stunning induced a cardiac arrest in all the
(Gregory and Wotton, 1984);
>From a physiological standpoint, the
stunned animal is more highly stressed.
(Althen 1977 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.
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.
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, still
alive to the scalding
tank (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. (FAWC 1982).
from the stunner;
substantial number were
as a result of the shock from
the stunner. (24%
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
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
we have seen in all these methods of slaughtering today,
the following are prevalent and are taken from 36 scientific
studies and research papers:*
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
I would like to quote Gregory and Wotton (1985): There
is as yet no unequivocable scientific evidence which shows
how electrical stunning stuns an animal.
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:
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 Second
Opinion about Pain;
by any other definition,
The Government stated in its White Paper (Cmnd 8883)
about measuring pain in an animal. there
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 The
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 humane techniques.
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
is called: LAJIM AL -JALLALAH, when any of these
VEGETFJRIAN animals are fed unnatural diet or animal protein.
Or dirt (all considered IZRA);
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 Muslim countries.
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
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 Websites).
health grounds, Muslims should oppose hormones and antibiotics
to be given to the animals we eat.
need badly: Muslim scientists in the field of animal slaughter
and to investigate more: our HALAL method, stunning etc.
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 animal meat/protein.
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.
The wiser 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 them.
Islamic Medical Association
North Circular Road,
N13 5EG, UK
Tel & Fax: 0208 345
E F E R E N CE S
Sources and General References;
Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad~.peace upon him),.
of words of the Ouran
animals for food,the Islamic way by Dr G.M. Khan.
The Science of
the animals ,by Aljahez.
Pre-requisites of Slaughter according to Shariya
of Islam (Muslim world League ,Secretaria General,tiecca
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
Farm animal welfare
council :Report on the welfare of Poultry at the time
Farm animal welfare
council zReport on the welfare of Livestock(Red Meat
animals) at the time of slauqhter.1984.
Farm animal welfare
council:Report on the welfare of Livestock when slaughtered
by Religious methods.July/1985.
The Guardian 3rd
The Times 3rd
: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
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
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 .Vol. 1/1980).
10-The influence of
slaughter method on chemistry and property of Lamb meat
(Phd thesis by Dr A.S.Biala).
11-Effect of electrical
stunning method and cardiac arrest on bleeding efficiency,
residual blood,& blood splash in lambs.(Kirton, Frazerhurst,
Woods & Chrystal; Meat science,198081).
on the slaughter of Poultry. (Heath, Watt, Waite, &
Meakins). Brit,Vet J/83.
13-Jewish 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
to the slaughter of food animals. (M.Abdussalam, Animal
Regulation studies, 3.19801981).
is it a ritual method: (Helmy, Al-Sanae, Alnisuf
& AlSultan: lst International conference on Islamic
16-Blood flow in the
Carotid & Vertebral arteries of the sheep and calf;
(Baldwin, Bell: J.Physiol/1963).
17-The effect on Blood
pressure in the sheep & calf of clamping some of the
arteries contributing to the Cephalic circulation. (Baldwin,
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).
21-Some aspects of
Captive Bolt Stunning in Ruminants. (Lampooy, Logtesting,
Sybesma; Proceeding Res. Inst. of Animal Prod/82,Netherlands
Proceeding of seminar; Res. Inst. of Anim,Prod/82 Netetherland
of calves & sheeps (Lambooy; Proceeding Res, Inst of
animal Prod/82 ,Netherlands).
Res Inst of Animal Prod/82 Netherlands)
of insensibility in sheep, calves & Pigs during slaughter:
(Blackmore, Nèwhook: Proc, of Sem, Resp, lnst, of
the central nervous system: Visually evoked cortical responses
in sheep (Gregory, Wotton; Research in Vet Science/1983).
problems associated with the slaughter of Stock: (Blackmore;
Proc of a Seminar at Res. Inst of animal prod/82
Kosher slaughter:(Temple Grandin; lnt. J. Stu. ani. prod/1980)
Electrical & Anesthetic stunning methods for Livestock:
of unconsciousness: General principles & practical aspects
(Lopes da Silva: Proceedings of a seminar held at the research
institute of animal production, Netherlands/1982),
31A survey of
Current methods of Stunning of Farm Animals in EEC countries
(G..V Mickwitz: Proceeding research. Inst. of anim.prod.Netherlands/1982).
32-On the Humanity
methods of Slaughter: Dr.L.Hill. (The Lancet/192 3.)
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
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
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 the draft.
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
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
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
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
Claims which could give rise to doubt about the safety of
similar food or which could arouse or exploit fear In the
POTENTIALLY MISLEADING CLAIMS
The following are examples of claims which may be misleading:
Meaningless claims including incomplete comparatives and
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
(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
(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
(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 substance:
(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 prominence; and
(d) is one whose presence or addition is permitted in the
(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 therein.
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 Law;
(ii) Has not been prepared, processed, transported or stored
using any appliance or facility that was not free from anything
unlawful according to Islamic Law; and
(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) above.
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
(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
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) and (iii).
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 procedures.
(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 act.
(vii) The slaughter act should sever the trachea, oesophagus
and main arteries and veins of the neck region.
(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 AND
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 Codex Standards.
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
The Committee agreed to add the amendments in square brackets
(Sections 3.1(i)(m) and 3.2(iv) for additional government
The Government decided in 1987 that the religious slaughter
of animals without pre-stunning should continue to be permitted.
The Muslims are exempt from stunning.
(THE MUSLIM) DO NOT HAVE TO STUN