Holland, BBC November 30, 2011, by Raffi Berg. “The slaughter of conscious animals was widely abandoned in the 20th Century and is now practiced mainly in the Jewish and Muslim communities. Consumers increasingly expect animals to be stunned before death – but would banning other slaughter methods be an unacceptable violation of religious rights?”

Read the entire article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14779271

This article demonstrates a very interesting discussion on a highly political issue. Religious and non-religious groups are trying to find the answer to the question whether or not animals should be stunned before slaughter. Scientific proof that animals need to be stunned is openly questioned and rejected by religious leaders, who argue that conventional stunning is torture.

Under Jewish and Islamic law, animals for slaughter must be healthy and uninjured at the time of death, which rules out driving a bolt into the brain – though some Muslim authorities accept forms of stunning that can be guaranteed not to kill the animal.

Under shechita, the animal’s neck is cut with a surgically sharp knife, severing its major arteries, causing a massive drop in blood pressure followed by death from loss of blood. Supporters say unconsciousness comes instantaneously – the cut itself stunning the animal. A similar procedure is used in Islamic slaughter, or dhabiha.

One scientist who has observed closely the work of trained shochets is Dr Temple Grandin of Colorado University, a renowned expert on the humane treatment and slaughter of livestock. Her verdict is that conventional slaughter with preliminary stunning, and religious slaughter without stunning, is both acceptable when conducted properly.

In this discussion between welfare specialists and religious groups, only the aspect of slaughter for human consumption is discussed. The issue of how animals need to be slaughtered during large-scale outbreak situations is completely ignored. The lack of practical solutions inevitable leads to panic reactions. In worst-case, animals are bulldozed alive, under a thick layer of earth.

It would be interesting to find out if the N2GF method could be applied for large-scale outbreaks, guaranteeing that animals are stunned and slaughtered without noticing that they are stunned and slaughtered…

For more information: www.n2gf.com

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