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Slaughter without stunning
Religious slaughter in context
  1. Asif Rao
  1. Brooklands, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9PQ
  1. e-mail: asif_habib{at}

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THE protection of farm animals at the time of slaughter and killing is a matter of public concern that affects consumers' attitudes towards meat products (EC 2009). The slaughter process has never been pleasant and not all suffering can be eradicated during different stages of marketing, transit and at slaughter. However, it is our responsibility to respect farm animals and to minimise their distress and suffering as much as possible. The slaughter of animals without stunning, specifically for traditional religious slaughter, which henceforth I will call ‘traditional slaughter’, has always been a topical subject for animal welfare lobbying organisations.

Several research projects have been funded and carried out at different institutes on issues related to traditional slaughter to influence the debate. The outcome of these research projects may well have been different if researchers had focused on improving welfare standards during traditional slaughter rather than trying to convince the religious communities that their methods of slaughter are outdated and do not match the ideal 21st century standard for animal wellbeing.

Traditional slaughter does not intend for farm animals to suffer when slaughtered for food. In fact, the opposite is true if the tenets of the Abrahamic religions are studied. The belief is that all animals should be treated with respect at all times and all …

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