Scientists urge an end to religious animal slaughter

Halal and Kosher practises are deemed cruel by Britain’s animal welfare advisers

Religious slaughter techniques practised by Jews and Muslims are cruel and should be ended, says a scientific assessment from the British government’s animal welfare advisers. The Farm Animal Welfare Council says that slitting the throats of the animals such as chickens, without first stunning them, results in “significant pain and distress.” The committee, which includes scientific, agricultural and veterinary experts, is calling for the government to launch a debate with Muslim and Jewish communities to end the practice. One Muslim organization, the Halal Food Authority, already insists on stunning animals—in the slaughterhouses it regulates—as long as they are still alive when their throats are slit. But in other halal and almost all kosher slaughterhouses, which together kill more than 100 million animals a year in Britain, animals have their throats slit without rendering them insensible to the pain. Religious groups say that doing so would be against their interpretation of religious texts. Massood Khawaja, president of the Halal Food Authority, doesn’t understand the other religious groups’ problem: “The Koran says use your brain, ponder about things and that’s what we are doing,” he said. “It’s a question of animal welfare.”

The Independent

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