Halal meat, inconsistent with live export

28 April 2014

The majority of our live sheep export destination markets require their meat to be halal. We delved into the requirements of halal meat and found that it was completely inconsistent with the practice of exporting animals live.

Halal meat, by its very definition, prohibits using cruel methods that cause animals pain during their lives, transport or slaughter.

Halal restrictions include providing rest, fresh food and water to the animal.

Meat from animals that have been subjected to cruelty is considered by Islam as impure and unlawful to eat.

Dr Abdul Rahman and Prof. Hassan Aidaros, Members OIE Working Group on Animal Welfare concur and in a paper in 2011 stated that “all the Islamic laws on the treatment of animals, including the method of slaughter, are based on compassion, fellow-feeling and benevolence.”

Sadly, animals that are exported to the Middle East are not being treated to this standard. They endure a three week voyage in noisy and cramped conditions, exposed to high temperatures and heat stress and variable quality ventilation in sea conditions that can be very rough, with the prospects of rough handling and inhumane slaughter at their destination.

Syed Rizvi explains the Islamic implications of live export in an impassioned letter to the editor of Gulf Daily News:

“As a Muslim who grew up in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, I am appalled that any devout Muslim would consume the flesh of animals who have been cruelly shipped and slaughtered. To do so during Eid Al Adha not only goes against our faith but also dishonours God.

Islamic law is clear: for meat to be halal, animals must not be under stress or experience any discomfort prior to their slaughter. They cannot be mutilated, deformed, or diseased when killed. Any meat that is obtained as a result of any departure from these edicts becomes haram*.

We are compelled, as Muslims, to refrain from eating sheep who lived and died in misery and to share this information with other Muslims.”

Over 70% of Australian abattoirs are Halal accredited. In Australia, stunning is required for Halal practices so that the animal is unconscious at death. Therefore domestic processing would ensure that both halal and animal welfare needs are met.

For the sake of our animals, the economy and farmers, Australia must transition away from live exports. Please write a letter to government today!

You can read more about the legal restrictions for Halal in Australia at the RSPCA Knowledge Base.

*Haram is an Islamic term that means sinful and forbidden by Allah.

Categories: