Slaying of animals for food (Dhabh)
12 November 2002
1 Pennington Street
I write further to the letter from the Director General of The Board of Deputies of British Jews entitled "Religious law and animal slaughter" published in the Times on 12 November 2002. I would like to endorse fully the religious Jewish view regarding animal slaughter.
In Islam too, slaying the animal for food (Dhabh) is well stated and clarified by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This method to make food Halal (permissable) has also been proscribed in the other Abrahamic Faiths (Jewish and Christian) and is otherwise known as the Direct Method.
It should be carried out safely, comfortably and without pain to the animal using a very sharp smooth knife or blade to cut in the right anatomical site in the neck of the animal. The cut should be made to the major blood vessels: carotids and jugulars, which painlessly anaesthetises by causing rapid loss of blood from the brain. Convulsions may arise which are physiologically painless and are a natural process in order to expunge blood from the body. It is forbidden in Islam to consume any blood or meat from an animal which is not wholesome (Tayyib) or an animal which has died before the Direct Method has been used as this is harmful to the health.
Scientific medical evidence and research have proved that the process of stunning can kill some animals prematurely by causing cardiac arrest. Government figures show that a third of all poultry that are subjected to stunning are dead before they are cut. Stunning can also cause a "salt and pepper haemorrhage" which changes the natural healthy chemical quality of the meat. This cruel and inhumane method effectively kills the animal twice.
The method used for the religious slaughter of animals by Jews and Muslims is recognised by the Government and I make the appeal that all animals should be slayed by the Direct Method.
Dr A Majid Katme
Spokesman on Halal Meat & Food
The Muslim Council of Britain.