What is Compassion in World Farming’s policy on Halal meat and religious slaughter?
Compassion in World Farming believes that all slaughter should be humane, which means that animals must be stunned prior to slaughter using a method that causes immediate unconsciousness or, in the case of gas stunning, does not cause distress during the period before loss of consciousness.
We understand that in the UK, a substantial proportion of animals slaughtered for Halal meat are stunned before slaughter; however, animals slaughtered for Kosher meat are in general not stunned before slaughter.
Both EU and UK legislation on the welfare of animals at slaughter allow exemptions for religious communities. Whilst we value religious freedom, we do not believe this should extend to practices which inflict suffering on animals and we will continue to lobby for the removal of these exemptions from EU and UK legislation.
We have been working with leading animal welfare academics and the Islamic community regarding the slaughter of animals for Halal meat. Twenty years ago, Compassion in World Farming published ‘Animals in Islam’, which was written by a learned Muslim, Dr Masri, who recommended the stunning of animals before slaughter. Last year an edited version of this publication was published by the Islamic Foundation in Leicester.
If you would like to purchase this publication then please do get in touch.
Compassion in World Farming organised a meeting with the Islamic Foundation in July 2007, bringing together leading animal welfare academics. Real progress was made at this event. A further meeting with the Islamic Foundation was held in 2008. Dr Abdul Rahman, a Muslim and a leading animal welfarist from India, in favour of pre-slaughter stunning, was in attendance.
We have also worked in Eygpt and Jordan to raise awareness of the suffering animals endure during transportation and slaughter.