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Commercial halal slaughter –science and religion


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Presentation on Halal Certification and Halal Food,Halal Research Council

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Commercial halal slaughter –science and religion

  1. 1. Commercial Halal Slaughter –Science and Religion. <ul><li>By </li></ul><ul><li>Hamid Ahmad, </li></ul><ul><li>Consultant: Halal Slaughter, Meat & Meat Products, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), FAO Rome, EC Brussels, IDRC & MI Canada etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex-Head, Meat Research Laboratory, Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR), Govt. of Pakistan, Lahore, Pakistan. </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Member, Halal Food Standards Technical Committee, Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of Pakistan & Expert Contributor to OIC Guidelines on Halal Food and Accreditation bodies (Ankara, Turkey) . </li></ul>Presented at Halal Research Council Conference Held at Expo Centre, Lahore - Pakistan
  2. 2. Some Scenes at the Weekly Animal Market, Lahore, Pakistan
  3. 3. Rituality and Science in Halal Slaughter <ul><li>The procedure followed for “Halal Slaughter” of an animal is purely a part of the religious way of life for a Muslim, as prescribed in the Holy Book (Qur’aan) and explained in the sayings of the Prophet (Hadith). </li></ul><ul><li>However, the aftermath of the sequence of physiological, neurological and biochemical changes that accrue in the animal body at slaughter & due to its death, follow the rules of natural sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>So, here lies the interface of obedient following of faith in a ritual performance, irrespective of the consequences and the rules of natural science. </li></ul><ul><li>The science part is measurable while the other is sacred act of belief to be measured in the hereafter. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Three Essentials of Halal slaughter No Compromise <ul><li>Animal should be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter. </li></ul><ul><li>Uttering the Invocation: The name of Allah / God should be invoked at the time of cutting the neck of the animal. </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum possible blood should be allowed to flow / let from the carcass. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Animal Welfare Code of Halal Slaughter <ul><li>Gentle handling, neck cut with sharp knife, killing not in sight, no beating & no unnecessary suffering to animals at all times. </li></ul><ul><li>In practice the religious code of AW is ignored. </li></ul><ul><li>Some reasons: lack of will on the part of authorities., training, ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, carelessness & overriding human miseries. </li></ul><ul><li>Ignoring of these injunctions, sometimes, makes meat (Makrooh-not for Muslim consumption). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two Firm Religious Beliefs of Muslims about Halal Slaughter <ul><li>No.1. Muslim scholars, intellectuals and even common man believe that only Halal method of slaughter leads to maximum bleed out to give safe & healthy meat. </li></ul><ul><li>No.2. Halal slaughter causes no or less pain to the animal as compared to any other method of slaughter. </li></ul><ul><li>These beliefs have been and are held –irrespective of science. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Discussions on the topic with International Religious Scholars on
  8. 8. Halal Slaughter and Stunning <ul><li>Halal Slaughter of Animals is a religious act. Science is secondary in it. Science can enter only if & where it does not interfere with religious essentials. </li></ul><ul><li>Stunning is performed to induce unconsciousness and insensibility in animals so that shackling, hoisting and slaughter can be carried out without causing the animal any avoidable pain, suffering or distress. </li></ul><ul><li>But stunning injures the animal – so animal is not healthy anymore. In some cases may Kill -so in that case the animal not alive at Halal neck-cut. </li></ul><ul><li>Some scholars even say it amounts to causing pain to the animal twice or killing the animal twice. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Halal Slaughter and Stunning <ul><li>However, electrical stunning is said to cause epileptic seizure & fits due to a substantial depolarisation of the neurons leading further to unconsciousness. Repolarisation occurs in controlled elect. stunning and animal may regain if not slaughtered within seconds. </li></ul><ul><li>So, it is accepted and applied in some Muslim countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical Stunning is said to cause shock waves and subsequently destroys part of the brain resulting in a loss of consciousness. It is often considered permanent. So, it does not seem to have any place in Halal system. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Halal Slaughter and Stunning <ul><li>Scientifically speaking pain has to occur on any incision / cut, Halal or non-Halal. It is proved now. </li></ul><ul><li>Some scholars accept Post –Cut Stunning in Halal slaughter in the immediate post-slaughter time to limit the period of Halal neck-cut pain to a few seconds. </li></ul><ul><li>It does not affect the three Halal slaughter essentials. </li></ul><ul><li>But it is not of any help towards easing the pre-slaughter handling. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Restraining Animals to Reduce Sufferings. <ul><li>For Halal slaughter of animals no specific ritual treatment is described for restraining thus leaving it open to options and opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Substantial animal sufferings can be avoided by using proper restraint and by strict adherence to our prescribed religious code. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of controlled pre-slaughter electrical stunning procedure, attached in-line to an explicit indicator of life in the animal after-stun may be a good option for Halal slaughter. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Global Halal Market <ul><li>With the global Halal food market currently valued at almost US$760 billion (source:, the demand for raw materials and ingredients that can be fully certified as Halal is higher than ever before and rapidly growing. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Muslim consumers increasingly expect assurance that food and beverages fully comply with Islamic preparation requirements from the very start of the manufacturing process, creating increased pressure to source ingredients from suppliers that are certified by recognized Halal organizations.” </li></ul><ul><li>Chr. Hansen offer Halal certified meat cultures, </li></ul><ul><li>Meat International, e-Edition, Sat. 07,Jan. 2010 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Tomorrow’s Slogan is Halal <ul><ul><li>Thank you. </li></ul></ul>