Abattoir

Halal Abattoir

For years now there has been various debates surrounding how Halal meat is prepared in the 'specialist' abattoirs. In this guide, we will explore this debate a bit further, and see if there is a potential solution to the problem.

Debate from the FWAC

The FAWC (farm animal welfare council) have been fighting the beliefs of Halal since 2003. Their argument states that in a Halal abattoir, animals are not slaughtered 'correctly'. This means that animals are feeling more pain than is necessary in their opinion. They state, that the way the animals are slaughtered for Halal means that the animal bleeds to death for two minutes before actually dying. On the other hand, the Halal abattoirs and their staff members deny that this is cruel, stating that the animal loses its blood quickly enough so that it does not feel any un-necessary pain.

Debate from Lord Rooker and the RSPCA

The debate continued for years with various parties offering up their opinion on the subject. In 2008 Lord Rooker (the food and farming minister) started that Halal meat should be labelled to state that the animal used in the process was essentially 'bled to death', and this would allow the customer to decide if they wanted to eat the meat. The RSPCA then went onto support the views of Lord Rooker, which was strange because they rarely support anything related to animal slaughtering.

In the same year, the French Ministry of food counteracted the above statement saying that Dr. Pouillaude had scientific proof that 'religious slaughter' (used for Halal meat) was actually a less stressful method of slaughter then is used regularly.

Debate from the UN

The UN food and agricultural organisation then chipped in on the matter stating that animals should be restrained at the neck and head when being slaughtered for Halal meat so that there were no complications, which would lead to the animals feeling more pain than is necessary.

The British Veterinary Association were outspoken on the matter with a rather graphical view, stating that animals that are 'religiously slaughtered' choke on their own blood as they die. This makes slaughtering religiously an overly violent method. If this is true, it would in fact counteract the reason for religious slaughtering sighted by Islam. This states that an animal should be slaughtered to 'high standards'.

The fact of the matter is, in the United Kingdom it is illegal to slaughter an animal without stunning it first, unless it is for religious reasons. Therefore, many people view that it should not be carried out at all in this country; however, on the other hand, many religious followers and other individuals believe that we should respect religious beliefs.

Unfortunately, it does not look like there is an answer that would make everybody happy. It seems like the UN may have had the 'best' idea, but this would still mean that people would be disappointed on the outcome. Halal abattoirs will therefore continue to upset those that believe 'religious slaughtering' is not the 'fairest' way to slaughter animals, and until any other developments happen, this is the way it will stay.