The last few weeks have seen increased media interest in the procedures and politics surrounding Halal meat, obtained from animals which have not been stunned pre-slaughter. Typically, the animals involved have their throats slit, including the windpipe and blood vessels in the neck – all while fully conscious. The level of suffering and pain the animals feel is being debated now more than ever, with seemingly everyone wading into the debate.
Most recent to speak out against the Halal industry is Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming. In his piece for the Huffington Post, Lymbery refers to the process as causing “millions of farm animals [to] suffer an unnecessarily painful and hugely distressing death every year”. He references the recent petition created by the British Veterinary Association, calling on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to legislate for all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter, ‘rendering them insensible to pain until death supervenes’.
Of course, portrayed in the wrong manner, this increased pressure on the Halal industry could be taken in all manner of directions – many of which, it has to be suggested, seem to be trotted out (pardon the pun) to distract from the real issue. Quite simply, this is not about politics. It is not about religion. (Nor, in this case, is it even about meat eating as a practice). This call to arms is about the simple fact that sentient creatures are being led terrified to an agonising death, every single day. Once their throats are slit, they are left, still alive, to ‘bleed out’. For chickens this can take minutes. For cows, pigs and sheep, the reality is very different. And the UK government allows this process to continue.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to step up and speak out against the Halal practice.
To sign the British Veterinary Association’s petition to DEFRA, please click here:
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