Lately, there has been no mystery about the mistreatment of animals by anyone, including Muslims. It is a behaviour that violates the normative rules, understandings, and expectations of the religion itself. Islam and Halal are a system, a global faith and a way of life. It is similar to any system or organisation where they shall disassociate any deviant act or behaviour which is against the rules and regulations. It works the same for religion.
We can always ask ourselves, could a particular tradition or culture be deviant as well? So what do people usually do when they cannot distinguish between right and wrong? End of the day, you usually have to refer back to rules, regulation and, as for religion, it is always the scriptures. As for Islam is the Noble Quran and the Prophet’s Hadith.
“God has ordained kindness (and excellence) in everything. If the killing (of animals) is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner by first sharpening the knife, and putting the animal at ease.”- Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) narrated by Imam Muslim.
Let’s learn what Halal slaughtering really is.
Halal slaughtering is partly about having the incision deeply to hasten (i) the bleeding (to eliminate any possible diseases); and (ii) the death of the animal.
Scientifically it is proven that the animal didn’t feel any pain if the impulse and oxygen of the body did not reach the brain (cerebral anoxia <1>), practically by severing the following :
a) Trachea (halqum),
b) Oesophagus (mari’),
c) Carotid arteries and jugular veins (wadajain)
The animal’s physical response and uncoordinated movement you have seen after the incision is because the animal loses oxygen (cerebral anoxia). It causes a tremor. However, science is not an ultimatum yardstick for Muslims in this case, but it is an acceptable view in the modern world.
According to Professor Wilhelm Schulze, the “Islamic way of slaughtering is the most humane method of slaughter animals” based on his studies at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover University in Germany. See below.
**MS Standards 1500: 2004
Wilhelm Schulze Research
Wilhelm Schulze (10 December 1920, Leipzig – 30 December 2002) was a German professor of veterinary medicine, director of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover (1966–68, 1978–80 and 1980-81) and a specialist for pigs.
Between 1974 and 1978, Schulze and his colleague, Dr Hazim, carried out a study incorporating EEG (electroencephalograph) with electrodes surgically implanted on the skull of 17 sheep and 15 calves at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover University in Germany. The study: ‘Attempts to Objectify Pain and Consciousness in Conventional (captive bolt pistol stunning) and Ritual (knife) Methods of Slaughtering Sheep and Calves’is reported on Islamic websites to have concluded that “the slaughter in the form of a ritual cut is if carried out properly, painless in sheep and calves according to EEG recordings and the missing defensive actions” (of the animals). And that “For sheep, there were in part severe reactions both in bloodletting cut and the pain stimuli” when captive bolt stunning(CBS) was used. This study is cited by the German Constitutional Court in its permitting of ‘Dhabiha slaughtering”.
The following results were recorded:
1. The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter, as recorded on the EEG, did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision.
2. For the following 3 seconds, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep – unconsciousness. This is due to the large quantity of blood gushing out from the body.
3. After the 6 seconds mentioned above, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.
4. As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord), driving a maximum amount of blood from the body, thus resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.
Eventually, knowledge is what matters most. We can keep going, debate and discuss always good. In the end, what is right is still a quest.
Best-In-Class Animal Welfare:
Natural’ Brand – LAW Abattoir, Groblershoop, South Africa
Using dung beetles as bioindicators provide LAW abattoir with reliable scientific evidence that the ecosystem of the production site is maintained in a fully balanced state, thus ensuring that the site remains natural at all times. Natural sites must conform to certain health and environmental standards and assessments are carried out for pasture health, stocking rates, farm management and the environmentally safe use of antiparasitic drugs.
The University of Pretoria provides this scientific evidence following farm audits by the university staff and forms part of the audit system of the ISO9001 quality assurance program. In addition to these audits, samples of urine, kidneys, water, soil, feed, etc., are sent away for regular analysis in accordance with the ISO9001 audit protocol to ensure compliance with the system.