Home » Halal Meat Is Being Served In Schools, Hospitals And Pubs – Vets Say Islamic Slaughter Is Cruel

Halal Meat Is Being Served In Schools, Hospitals And Pubs – Vets Say Islamic Slaughter Is Cruel

News From : DagangHalal.com (11 Nov 2010)

The Mail went undercover at an abattoir to find the truth

A few hours before dawn, and even through the inky blackness it is clear this is no ordinary warehouse. Outside the building, gusts of wind send hay and straw flying, and the air is thick with the acrid sent of manure.

Despite the darkness, I can see blood trickling down the gutters and a group of men clutching knives. Every so often, the eerie scene is punctured by the sound of lambs bleating.

I am standing outside one of Britain’s abattoirs. To the casual observer, it is no different to any other slaughterhouse, though it’s strange to find one so close to a city centre that it’s within walking distance of Birmingham’s branch of Harvey Nichols.

I have visited several abattoirs for research purposes over the years, and by their very nature they’re noisy and messy places, with vats of blood and entrails.

The main difference here, though, is that this abattoir produces halal meat, in accordance with strict Islamic guidelines. Put simply, this means the animals killed here are not stunned with an electrical current – as they are at conventional slaughterhouses – to render them unconscious before they are dispatched.

Instead, they are fully conscious as their throats are slit by a slaughterman as he utters prayers to Allah to ‘bless’ the animal. The creature then bleeds to death in a process that can take more than 30 seconds.

Killing an animal by cutting its throat without stunning is, in fact, illegal in this country. However, there is a legal loophole allowing this if it is being done for religious reasons – in other words, for the production of halal or kosher meat.

But this is an exemption that the British Veterinary Association and the Government’s advisers, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, are objecting to, saying this form of slaughter causes ‘intolerable cruelty’. They have repeatedly demanded that it be banned.

‘In the Holy Book, it says that the animal should listen to the prayers of Allah. If it’s unconscious, then it won’t be able to do that.’

For their part, many Muslims claim it is their religious duty to eat only halal meat from unstunned animals. It is vital, they say, that the animal be slaughtered while fully conscious so it can receive Allah’s blessing.

Yet recent reports have suggested that it is not just devout Muslims who are consuming halal meat. Two months ago, it was revealed that supermarkets such as Waitrose and Tesco, fast food chains including McDonald’s, schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues such as Ascot and Wembley are serving up halal meat to unwitting customers.

So where does halal meat come from, and what is the truth behind its burgeoning use?

According to the World Halal Forum, which promotes halal and is holding its European conference in London, there are two million consumers in Britain.

Until now, it has been difficult to ascertain facts. Halal meat producers have consistently rejected requests to show journalists around their British abattoirs and factories.

When I applied to be shown around a number of halal slaughterhouses, calls went unreturned and messages unanswered for weeks.

So I decided to go undercover, posing as a potential buyer of halal meat for a fictional chain of high-quality ‘bespoke meats’. After four weeks, I finally managed to find an abattoir willing to show me the entire production process – from ‘squeals to meals’.

Increasing demand: It is estimated that more than 100 million animals are slaughtered each year in the UK – and demand is growing

Once I had outlined my fictional business proposal, a Birmingham-based company called Mr Meats agreed to show me around its abattoir. The owner, Masti Khan, was unfailingly polite and eager to please.

Mr Meats slaughters around 1,000 animals a night, mostly sheep and goats, but occasionally cattle, too.

When I step inside, the first thing that hits me is the overpowering stench – a nasty, fatty smell that sticks in the throat.

And then there’s the noise of machinery, interspersed with bleating animals and the slaughtermen uttering prayers.

Hundreds of sheep and lambs are penned up in tiny stalls. From time to time, one tries and fails to escape by leaping over the bars of its pen. But then the same would be true of any abattoir.

It is only when it comes to the actual slaughter that the differences become apparent. I watch and secretly film as the animals are herded onto a conveyor belt that leads them to the slaughterman, who is wearing a blue hairnet over his hair and beard in accordance with hygiene requirements.

Grabbing one lamb at a time, he pulls back its head and slits the throat with a swift movement from his razor-sharp knife.

Blood gushes everywhere as he recites the Islamic Bismillah prayer in Arabic: ‘In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.’

One of the supervisors, who oversees the firm’s 50 or so largely Muslim employees, explains to me the religious principle behind this process.

‘Animals that are stunned are not halal. An animal that is unconscious is not going to listen to the prayer.

‘In the Holy Book, it says that the animal should listen to the prayers of Allah. If it’s unconscious, then it won’t be able to do that.’

– Daily Mail UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.