Published On: Tue, Feb 3rd, 2015 on 12:16 pm

Media stoke fear with ‘halal abattoir’ headlines, it should be ‘haram abattoir’

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Yorkshire Slaughter Animal Cruelty

A worker pulls back a fist whilst holding a sheep by the throat.

So news emerged today of a so-called ‘halal slaughterhouse’ that was filmed secretly and was exposed for the shocking practices it conducted inside.

Bowood Yorkshire Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was exposed by Animal Aid after footage revealed workers kicked sheep, threw them about, taunted them, and hacked at them.

The slaughterhouse used non-stun slaughter, and was labeled as a ‘religious slaughterhouse’.

It was no surprise then, that many media outlets wrote stories referring to this place as a ‘halal slaughterhouse’ or a ‘halal abattoir’, seeming to imply (in the headlines at least) that this place was practicing halal religious slaughter.

But a little read of the story revealed that nothing, absolutely nothing, was in accordance to halal slaughter.

Who said this is a halal abattoir?

Traditional approaches require a sharp knife to be used and a single cut to be made quickly. You cannot ‘hack’ into necks like how a worker was filmed doing, it just isn’t allowed.

A prayer is also said before the slaughter takes place. Bowood workers weren’t saying any prayers, they were blasting out Christmas songs on the radio.

Halal meat should also come from animals who have not seen the knife, or other animals being killed. But at this slaughterhouse, animals were routinely immobilised on the conveyor while the slaughterer sharpened his knife and other sheep bled to death in front of them.

Bowood Lamb isn’t even registered on any halal monitoring agencies (it seems with a little research online), and media stories referred that the owners were ‘English’. Not to say they weren’t Muslim, but something just doesn’t add up.

Which leads to my final and most key point, animal cruelty is forbidden in Islam, as a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) rightly said after the revelations came to light.

‘Halal’ means ‘permissible’, and practices that went on at this slaughterhouse were ‘haram’, which means ‘forbidden’.

We need media to start acting responsibly

We need media to start acting responsibly, because the language they use is crucial and calling this a ‘halal abattoir’ and a ‘halal slaughterhouse’ doesn’t do justice and is an insult.

It leads people to believe halal is something cruel, something out of the ordinary, and something inhumane even worse than what non-halal butchers practice.

But no matter how you look at it… Animal Aid summed up the news by saying: “By whatever method animals are killed, or whichever authority presides over the killing, there is no mercy in a slaughterhouse.”

Perhaps so, but the real question here is animal rights abuses taking place.

Compulsory CCTV monitoring in slaughterhouses across the UK (which Animal Aid is campaigning for) can also help prevent evils like this from happening.

By Mustafa Khan.

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- The work of guest writers who publish original content to the Yorkshire Standard. All material is copyrighted and belongs to the Yorkshire Standard.

Displaying 9 Comments
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  1. Jane Smith says:

    TO BE CLEAR EVERYONE – even animals who are supposed to be stunned are still alive when their throats are slit :( – they have to be alive for the blood to gush out… and there are countless reports of stunning not being done properly, or not being done at all. You cannot console yourself with the ‘humane’ slaughter propaganda… There is NO such thing. You have the luxury of saying no to meat (and dairy) the animals have not. Only the will of people can change things. I have been vegan for 30 years, my conscience is clear but my heart aches for all the animals…

  2. Linda Robson says:

    I am in agreement with Chris’s comments -to say or believe any animal does not feel pain of any kind is totally untrue. Ask any Vet. I do believe that we should live and let live but this practice is so wrong on every level. Someone should campaign for this practice to be fully banned in England. If the Muslim community wish to purchase meat killed in this way then they should pay for importing it into England. Even this is wrong because the animal will still suffer cruelly but as a nation we should stop this practice here. Like Chris I will be surprised if my comments are published.

  3. Ahmad says:

    Five years ago I worked in a halal abattoir. Although raised a Muslim I am an Atheist, which I keep to myself for fear of repercussions. Never once did I witness any utterance of religion upon slaughter in what was a Muslim owned company. I witnessed frequent animal abuse and became quite desensitized to the actions of my former brothers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If people knew the inhumane treatment that takes place, we would all be vegetarians.

  4. Alan says:

    “Animals must be alive and conscious for it to be halal.”

    Well Id assume most abattoirs have animals alive before they are killed. That’s a bit of a no brainer.

    There’s nothing about them having to be conscious that, I believe, is just your nonsense coming out Chris.

    Meat has been slaughtered for food for centuries the Jews have being doing it for a lot longer than muslims.

    But let’s face with all this hysteria over muslims anything related to muslims produces this overreaction.

    As for slaughtering and causing pain according to the university of Hanover who undertook studies on pain sensation of animals it was found that slaughtering causes less pain.

    • Chris Banks says:

      The 1970’s study that has been widely debunked and which used equipment that hasn’t been used in the industry for over ten years. Nice argument.

      A full electric shock renders the animal unconscious. This is the standard procedure for humane slaughter. In halal slaughter they administrate a minor shock to stop the animal struggling.

      The only reason that Halal meat continues to be legal is the fact that Halal and Kosher are sold to the general public without them being aware of the meat being religious slaughter. This finances up to 50% of all kosher meat. Which basically means the general public is subsidizing religious slaughter.

      The only reason Halal meat has not been banned is the fact that it would also mean Kosher meat would also be banned. We cannot even ask for religious meat to be labeled because that would end the subsidized slaughter and the kosher/halal meat would rise in price.

      Everything about Halal and Kosher is vile.

  5. Chris Banks says:

    Islamic law dictates that the animal must be alive and conscious for the meat to be considered ‘halal’.

    This means that the lies people like Mustafa Khan would have you believe is the animal feels no pain because it was shocked.

    The reality is the animal is stunned only to prevent it from moving with a low voltage shock. It is then fully conscious and hung up so that it’s blood can drain. It is fully conscious and aware of every agonizing moment.

    Compare this to humane slaughter. A bolt to the brain, instantly brain dead, no consciousness.

    Halal slaughter has no place in a civilized society. I’ll be amazed if this comment is allowed.

    • Ali says:

      What are you reading Chris? I don’t see the writer saying the animal feels no pain.

      And over 80% of halal slaughter done here in the UK is stunned beforehand. Are you mindblown?

      • Chris Banks says:

        The halal stun used is a very low voltage that knocks the animal out for around 15-20 seconds. After 20 seconds it is potentially back to normal and during that 20 seconds it is alive and breathing. This means that when the animal is cut it still bleeds the animal properly.

        You can claim that halal meat is stunned but it’s only done to bamboozle the general public. The animal feels every slice and this barbaric third world religious ritual has no place in Great Britain.

        Are you minddblown?

    • Donald says:

      You sir are an idiot.

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