News From : DagangHalal.com (10 Nov 2009)
Scientific reports into the use – or lack thereof – of stunning equipment prior to livestock slaughter due to religious beliefs will be released by State and Federal Governments.
The issue of abattoirs preparing red meat according to religious principles was discussed by State, Territory and Federal primary industries ministers in Perth on Friday, where ministers agreed that jurisdictions would use compatible risk management measures to reduce adverse animal welfare outcomes.
The ministerial council agreed to make public the findings of recent scientific reviews of ritual slaughter methods, the first of which was commissioned in 2007.
More than 99.5pc of Australia’s red meat exports in 2008 were from animals that had been stunned prior to slaughter.
However, animal rights groups are concerned that an increasing number of livestock are being slaughtered without stunning due to exemptions granted for religious reasons.
Last week Princess Alia bint al-Hussein of Jordan, who is the sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, said she had written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd saying that any lowering of animal welfare standards in Australia for religious reasons would be a blow to the country’s reputation and undermine progress in the Middle East.
“Contrary to some claims, killing without stunning is not necessary under Islamic principles,” she said.
The ministers have also requested further consultation with religious organisations, meat processors, relevant regulators and animal welfare groups on the issue.
Mr Burke said it was the role of governments to promote the most humane practices, within the spectrum of faiths in Australia.