Animal Rights...Fighting for the Voiceless

In Islamic law, the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding camels, locusts, fish and most sea-life. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. It must be done with respect and compassion; avoiding as much as possible any animal pain or discomfort. Thus, the slaughter itself is preceded by the words "In the name of Allah (Bismillah)". It is not regarded appropriate to use the phrase "Bismillah al Raḥmān Al Raḥīm" (In the name of God the Beneficent the Merciful) in this situation, because slaughtering is an act of subdual rather than mercy. According to Islamic tradition, the animal is brought to the place of slaughter and laid down gently so as to not injure it. The blade must be kept hidden until the very last moment while the jugular of the animal is felt. The conventional method used to slaughter the animal involves cutting the large arteries in the neck along with the esophagus and vertebrate trachea with one swipe of an non-serrated blade. Care must be taken that the nervous system is not damaged, as this may cause the animal to die before exsanguination has taken place. While blood is draining, the animal is not handled until it has died. If any other method is used its meat will not be halal. This method adheres to Islamic law (it ensures the animal does not die by any of the Haraam methods) and helps to effectively drain blood from the animal. This may be important because the consumption of blood itself is forbidden in Islam, [Quran 2:173] however it is not clear that bleeding the animal removes all traces of blood from the carcass, so the meat may remain unclean. In fact it is stated by Islamic authorities that it is only necessary to drain 'most' of the blood from the animal. Electrocution is frowned upon by many Muslims. Stunning the animal with a bolt-gun, as is the standard practice in FDA-approved slaughtering houses, may cause instantaneous death. Muslims regard meat from such a slaughter to be haraam, considering such meat as carrion. It is for these reasons that there are ongoing questions and conversations within the North American Muslim community as to whether meat processed in these slaughter houses meet the standard of 'Halal' (as opposed to Ḏabīḥah). At center of this debate is the doubt as to whether this meat could qualify under the Allowed category of the food of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians). The first consideration being that standard slaughtering methods could cause the animal to die in a way other than slaughter (death through exsanguination), and, secondly, given that the actual slaughter may not be performed by a member of any one of the three Abrahamic religions. Debates still rage among Muslim jurists and the general Muslim population about whether or not stunning, anaesthetics, or other forms of inducing unconsciousness in the animal prior to slaughter are permissible as per Islam. Several halal food authorities have more recently permitted the use of a recently developed fail-safe system of head-only stunning where the shock is less painful and non-fatal, and where it is possible to reverse the procedure and revive the animal after the shock. Controversies on animal welfare Detractors of Ḏabīḥah halal, most notably some animal welfare groups, contend that this method of slaughter "causes severe suffering to animals" compared to when the animal is stunned before slaughter. In the United Kingdom, the government funded but independent advisory body Farm Animal Welfare Council recommended that conventional Ḏabīḥah (along with Kashrut slaughter) without prior stunning be abolished. The FAWC chairwoman of the time, Dr Judy MacArthur Clark, said, "This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn't suffer is quite ridiculous". According to Dr Peter Jinman, president of the British Veterinary Association, vets are "looking at what is acceptable in the moral and ethical society we live." The London Board of Shehitah pointed out that several members of the FAWC were members of animal welfare groups and therefore not impartial in the matter. The UK Farm Animal Welfare Council says that the method by which Kosher and Halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals and it should be banned immediately. According to FAWC it can take up to two minutes for cattle to bleed to death, thus amounting to animal abuse. Compassion in World Farming also supported the recommendation saying "We believe that the law must be changed to require all animals to be stunned before slaughter." The UK government rejected its recommendations. Various research papers on cattle slaughter collected by Compassion In World Farming mention that "after the throat is cut, large clots can form at the severed ends of the carotid arteries, leading to occlusion of the wound (or "ballooning" as it is known in the slaughtering trade). Nick Cohen wrote in the New Statesman, "Occlusions slow blood loss from the carotids and delay the decline in blood pressure that prevents the suffering brain from blacking out. In one group of calves, 62.5 per cent suffered from ballooning. Even if the slaughterman is a master of his craft and the cut to the neck is clean, blood is carried to the brain by vertebral arteries and it keeps cattle conscious of their pain." My Source for this article was Wikipedia... PLEASE VIEW ON VIDEO PAGE....
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