Stork puts case for halal gas

A major producer of poultry machinery has put forward the case that gassing can be perfectly acceptable in the use of halal poultry production.

Stork Food Systems poultry scientist Dr Simone Prinze said that EU legislation will require all slaughterhouses to install gas stunning equipment for the day-to-day stunning of poultry prior to their slaughter by April 2013. She added that controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) can be used in halal production as, in effect, the gas will not kill the bird. Muslim principles state that the animal or bird must be alive at the point of slaughter.

Dr Prinze from Stork, part of the Marel Group, made the comments at a Halal Food Authority (HFA) seminar on halal and scientific development held in London on 30 October.

HFA president Masood Khawaja said: The question is that whether such a system can be utilised for halal and zabiha slaughter? Dr Prinze showed the video proved that, by using the correct mixture of certain approved gases for the CAS of poultry, the birds would not succumb to the stun. And if these stunned birds were not slaughtered, they would recover, thus confirming that the process conforms to the Islamic requirement that the birds are alive at the time of slaughter.

She stressed the need to view this procedure from a technological as well as a halal perspective, so that it can become evident that its use is not against the covenants of halal and tayyab.

Khawaja added that it should not be assumed, however, that the HFA subscribes to the method of gas stunning/immobilisation, but it wanted to know whether, in the light of the Quran and Sunnah (usual practice), it could be used for halal slaughter or not, so that Muslims are well-prepared before the EU legislation comes into effect.

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