More humane standards are needed for the ritual slaughter of animals | Archives


DEAR READERS: A recent article by Brooks Johnson in the Star Tribune detailed how some goat producers in Minnesota will supply goats for local halal slaughter. This meat from goats and other animals that have been ritually slaughtered is increasingly available in the United States, whereas currently most halal meat is imported from Australia and New Zealand.

Few people outside of the Islam community, for which I have great respect, know anything about halal ritual slaughter. Even some practitioners of the faith may not be aware that the tradition of killing animals as humanely as possible has lagged behind current scientific knowledge of what this method of slaughter entails.

Islamic and Jewish ritual slaughter involves severing the windpipes (windpipes), jugular veins and carotid arteries of animals. This does not render the animal immediately unconscious, because the arteries that go up the vertebrae are not severed. The arteries continue to supply the brain with oxygen as the animal struggles to breathe, inhaling and exhaling blood through the severed windpipe before eventually losing consciousness and bleeding.

Moreover, the animals in the slaughter line become distressed, seeing and hearing the struggles and cries of distress of those who are restrained and killed. Ideally they should be held in a separate area before being brought to the point of slaughter.

As a veterinarian, I do not accept the claims of Islamic and Jewish ritual slaughter practitioners who insist that their methods of killing are humane. Having witnessed both methods in several countries, I can attest to the contrary.

All of this suffering can be avoided by stunning the animal with electrocution or a tethered bolt gun, rendering the animal immediately unconscious before its throat is slit. However, the practice of stunning is opposed by religious orthodoxies. The daring Islamic thinker and pioneer Al-Hafiz BA Masri in his book “Animals in Islam” argued for captive bolt stunning. He wrote that the practice is not only permitted in Islam, but worthy of adoption globally by all Muslims.

In 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that EU member states could require the stunning of terrestrial animals before slaughter and did not have to allow exceptions for rituals. religious or for any other reason. Countries where stunning of terrestrial animals before slaughter is now mandatory include Slovenia, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, as well as the Walloon and Flemish regions of Belgium. (Whole story : animalquality.org/news/eurpoean-union-states-stunning-animals-before-slaughter)

As long as we kill animals for food, we should at least offer them a human death.

DEAR DR. FOX: My 8 year old male Scottish fold cat has been peeing in different areas of the house for two years. He is an indoor cat, neutered, and lives with his brother. My vet told me he probably saw another cat through the window and was marking his territory.

I bought a pheromone spray, but it has no effect. Is there anything else I could try? —SM, Tulsa, Oklahoma

DEAR SM: Your vet is probably right, and that’s a major reason why cat owners shouldn’t let their cats roam free and disturb neighbors’ indoor cats.

However, it is important to rule out cystitis, which could be stress-related and aggravated by a diet that is too high in carbohydrates. Canned or home-prepared cat food has helped many cats with bladder problems.

Ask your veterinarian for a gabapentin prescription to give your cat at the start of the day, and also give her 1 or 2 milligrams of melatonin at bedtime.

DEAR DR. FOX: You know I like corresponding with you and I like most of your ideas, but I practice TNR (trap, neutralize, release) and I can’t imagine putting them in place. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a dead bird in the industrial area where I feed the cats. There are no birds!

Anyway, I just saw the story below on my local news, even though Tampa is a long way from West Palm Beach. — GBC, West Palm Beach, Florida

DEAR GBC: I made it clear in my TNR review that the practice is only acceptable when cats are essentially enclosed by physical barriers, such as in fenced warehouses and other private property, and as long as they receive shelter, cleaned litter boxes, vaccinations, food, water and veterinary care as needed. I question any “humane” corporations that give cats to serve as “work cats” for rodent control without the aforementioned provisions – not to mention that few cats can kill adult rats and effectively control rodent infestations. rats. In too many situations, cats instead kill native wildlife and compete with native predators, which is unacceptable and dangerous to cats.

Send all mail to [email protected] or Dr. Michael Fox c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal responses, but direct questions and comments. general interest will be discussed in the next columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.

Send all mail to [email protected] or Dr. Michael Fox c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal responses, but direct questions and comments. general interest will be discussed in the next columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.

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