Animal activists urge meat derived from Halal and Kosher slaughter methods, such as this chicken at the Madani Halal Slaughterhouse, to carry labeling that points out the absence of stunning beforehand.
A battle over the humanity of religious slaughter has boiled over in Europe, uniting Jews and Muslims fighting for recognition of their respective rituals. In my view any kind of factory farming deprives animals of a natural life and can result in unsafe food, such as the salmonella in these eggs, whether stunned or not.
On the other hand, Egypt demonstrated during the Muslim festival Eid in chilling detail that not all religious slaughter is humane, that it can be haram. Everything hinges, it seems, on the campaign of one animal rights group which claims that slaughter conducted without stunning causes undue suffering to animals.
Jews and Muslims are protesting a European Union law that would require kosher and halal meat to carry the label “derived from animals that have not been stunned prior to slaughter.” Members of the European Parliament passed Amendment 205 with a huge majority, which was subsequently vetoed by the EU Council of Ministers.
Representatives from Jewish and Muslim groups claim the move is discriminatory, while Compassion in World Farming activists that support the amendment suggest it is not the religious ritual they oppose, but rather the unnecessary suffering of any animals.
Abdalhamid Evans, director of the World Halal Forum Europe Project, is adamant that this amendment discriminates against religious practices that require animals to be slaughter without first being stunned. He adds that there is no scientific evidence that stunning is more humane and that if there is to be disclosure, then meat should also carry disclosure of stunning methods.
Yunus Dudhwala, who is Chairman of the Halal Monitoring Committee in Britain, shares this conviction, adding that meat carrying the label “gassed or electrocuted” would be similarly unpalatable to consumers.
Britain’s National Secular Society backs the amendment on the basis that millions of animals that are slaughtered without stunning are sold to customers who are neither Jewish nor Muslim. The labeling would protect their interests.
Simon Cohen from Schechita UK aims to fight the measure by campaigning that schechita is in fact humane.
“Our campaign is far from over, but we are making satisfactory progress, given the assault on shechita that was launched earlier this year by some members of the European Parliament,” the National quoted.
Studies conducted by Professor Temple Grandin from the University of Colorado support religious slaughter as long as it is professionally done on a calm animal.
This is obviously a very complicated and controversial subject. We would like to hear from our readers. Do you think that meat should carry labeling that describes slaughter/stunning methods? Is this a discriminatory move? Misguided activism? Please write your comments below.
:: The National
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