Scientists claim kosher and halal animal slaughter is 'inhumane and cruel'
Scientists claim kosher and halal animal slaughter isinhumane and cruel11.12.2012 15:3390 Polish scientists have written a letter to Polands prime minister sayingthat kosher and halal slaughtering methods are extremely cruel to animals.photo - Andy Wright/Wikimedia Commons“Our position is not dictated by any dislike of religious practices and rituals but based solely onscientific knowledge and moral opposition to extreme forms of cruelty to animals,” reads theletter written by Dr AntoniAmirowicz at the Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy ofSciences and Prof. Jerzy Bańbura of the Department of Experimental Zoology and EvolutionaryBiology at the University of Lodz.The letter, supported by 90 Polish scientists, is in response to Polands agriculture ministerpledging to amend animal rights legislation to allow ritual animal slaughter, after the PolishConstitutional Court ruled on 27 November that kosher and halal methods of killing animals wasinconsistant with Polish law.On 7 December, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he would take expert advise beforerecommending a change in the law on the issue, which came to a head after animal rightsactivists called for a ban of the Jewish and Muslim slaughtering methods in Poland.The court ruled that in 2007, an agricultural minister over-stepped his powers when changingPolands 1997 animal rights law to bring it in line with EU guidelines, which say that long-established religious practices can be exempt from legislation on slaughtering animals for meat.The junior coalition partner, the Polish Peasants party (PSL) - who the current agriculturalminister is a member of – has argued that banning kosher and halal slaughtering practices,which forbid the animal being stunned before being bled to death, would deprive Poland ofmillions of zloty in exports to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and other countries.But the letter written by scientists claims the practice - banned in Sweden, an EU member - isextremely cruel to animals.“Research carried out by an international group of experts on the ritual in slaughterhousesconfirmed that the slaughter carried out through slits to the throat and bleeding with no loss ofconsciousness is extremely inhumane and causes unimaginable suffering to the animal. We
appeal to you when deciding on ritual slaughter to take into account the facts established bynumerous research [into the method of slaughter],” the letter says.New EU legislation, which comes into force at the beginning of 2013 says that religious practicesmust be respected in the area of animal rights – though Poland can still opt out of the new law.No political party has supported the Constitutional Court ruling, however, fearful of trampling onreligious sensitivities among Polands small Jewish and Muslim communities on the issue. (pg)tags: animal rights, exports, halal, Jews, kosher, muslims, religion