Halal industry condemns slaughterhouse animal ‘cruelty’

The halal industry has disassociated itself from the alleged animal cruelty at the Bowood Lamb slaughterhouse, stating it is “disappointed with biased behaviour towards halal meat”.

After covert footage of apparent animal mistreatment was published by activists Animal Aid, Bowood dismissed one worker and suspended three others, and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is investigating the case.

However the Sharia Halal Board condemned the behaviour of the slaughtermen and said it was un-Islamic. Senior consultant Saraj Murtaza said: “For the last few weeks all we have seen in the British media is negative criticism of halal meat. Firstly starting with bullying tactics on the issue of non-stun slaughter and now, most recently, the issue of cruelty to animals.”

Senior panel member professor Syed Ahmed Hussain Tirmizi added: “The rules of Sharia are very clear and concise – that an animal should only be slaughtered with decency and swiftness to limit pain, but should also be given a pain-free life. Islamic Sharia prevents any unnecessary pain being given to the animal at the time of death.”

An unnamed source from the halal meat industry told Meatinfo.co.uk that while the incident at Bowood had caused outrage, the more recent secret footage from S Bagshaw and Sons had received far less coverage, indicating, he said, Islamophobia.

Sharia Halal Board senior panel member and grand Mufti (senior cleric) of the United Kingdom, Mufti Abdul Mansoor said: “Islam and the teachings of the Blessed Prophet clearly tell us to not only care for fellow humans, but also for animals and insects. It is incomprehensible that any person, Muslim or non-Muslim, could treat animals in such a disgusting manner.”

The Halal Food Authority said it was “incredibly saddened” to see the footage from Bowood Lamb, which it called “not a true representation of halal/non-stun slaughter procedures”, instead highlighting “the lack of knowledge of animal welfare legislative requirements and the ineffective training of slaughter operatives across the board”.

The Halal Monitoring Committee added: “Unfortunately the media seem to have connected this matter to non-stun and halal. This behaviour is forbidden and has no place in Islam.”

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