Being vegetarian makes it really hard to write this story.
But for those consumers who do eat meat, halal meat should be one of the best options. That’s because the halal method of preparing animals is purported to be the most hygienic, as well as the most humane for the animal.
This is a far cry from what seems to have been happening at a slaughterhouse in the north of England, though. Secret filming in an halal abattoir in the town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, reveals horrifying images of sheep killed without stunning.
Horrifying Treatment Of Animals
Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” In terms of food, it means food that is permissible according to Islamic law. For a meat to be certified “halal,” it cannot be a forbidden cut (such as meat from hindquarters) or taken from a forbidden animal (such as pork.)
Under the halal code, animals are supposed to be killed quickly with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife; they should not see the knife or witness the death of other animals.
However, hidden cameras in this slaughterhouse appear to reveal workers hacking and sawing at the animals’ throats with apparently blunt knives. In one instance the killing cut, which according to Islamic law should be instantaneous, takes five attempts.
As for the halal rule that animals should never see the knife or witness others being killed, the footage, courtesy of Animal Aid, shows a man wearing a Muslim kufi skullcap regularly sharpening knives in front of the sheep. Due to the design of the slaughterhouse, the sheep typically see one of their buddies having its throat cut, bleeding on the floor, and being hoisted and shackled.
UK law states these animals should be stunned and left for 20 seconds until they are unconscious before they are slaughtered. Obviously these rules are being broken.
You can watch the video by clicking here, but be warned that it is extremely graphic and contains many gruesome images.
Some of the other chilling images the video is said to show include:
Sheep being kicked in the face and head, lifted by their ears, fleeces or legs, and hurled into solid structures;
A worker standing on the neck of a conscious sheep and bouncing up and down.
Staff erupting into laughter over a sheep bleeding to death with spectacles drawn around her eyes in green paint.
Staff taunting and frightening animals by waving knives, smacking them on the head and shouting at them.
What Is Halal Slaughtering?
The Qur’an tells Muslims not to eat pork, drink wine, gamble or do anything that will damage their health. Muslims eat meat that is halal, meaning that these guidelines must be followed:
Allah’s name must be pronounced during slaughter;
The animal must be alive at the time of slaughter;
The instrument must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter. The animal must be slit at the throat;
The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry. Eating blood is not halal;
These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim;
The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.
If the video proves accurate, the so-called halal slaughterhouse in the north of England has clearly not been following the rules.
Ending This Horrible Practice
Following the Animal Aid investigation in December, 2014, four slaughtermen have had their operating licenses suspended.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched an investigation saying there was “no excuse for treating animals in the way shown on the video” and adding that prosecutions could follow.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain also declared: “Animal cruelty is wrong and criminal wherever it may occur. That it is being carried out in halal slaughter makes it even more incredulous. Animal welfare should be observed by all slaughterhouses.”