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Stunning of Meat and Poultry

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#16 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 06:18
I think we should have concentrated on the UK first.

Because we know the UK ulema (non-dodgy one's) are against mechanical Slaughtering and Stunning.

However we are not aware of the fatwaa's for another country. For example South Africa's SANHA allow stunning for thier chickens and their case its because of the over whelming muslim population in South Africa.
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#17 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 11:33

"Daywalk3r" wrote:

"abu mohammed" wrote:

"Daywalk3r" wrote:
Freemans i think is between 39v and 52v.[/quote]

I prefer to have my chicken slaughtered before it gets fried at 40 volts. SubhanAllah

im sure we all do. however if 40volts dont fry em (beyound any doubts) and if left after some seconds their still alive and erm clucking then thats fine with me... 

[quote="abu mohammed"]Well see here, Masuds blog This is where I read it at 4.2 volts masudblog.com/?p=144

Asslamo Allaikum,

4.2 volt is less then a 9v battery so nothing will happen to a chicken.

Electrical stunning

This is achieved by passing a current through the bird that causes immediate loss of consciousness and sensibility to pain. The stunning current may be delivered through hand-held electrodes for small flocks or through an electrified waterbath where larger throughputs are required. Whatever the delivery method, the current must be of sufficient strength and duration to ensure that the birds are rendered immediately insensible and that they remain insensible until death from bleeding. Electrical stunning equipment MUST have a display that shows the current and voltage being applied. All electrodes should be regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent a build-up of resistance due to deposits. The stunning machines should be regularly tested with a load of known resistance to ensure that sufficient current is reaching the birds.

www.grandin.com/humane/cardiac.arrest.html

A minimum of 120 milliamps (mA) is required to reliably induce cardiac arrest in broilers (Muller 1978; Schutt-Abraham et al. 1983). Heath (1984a) explains that the amperage is divided between the number of birds in the water bath; therefore if seven birds are in the water, 840 mA is the minimum amount of current required to kill them. Cardiac arrest can usually be accomplished by setting the stunner at 200 volts (Heath et al. 1983; Schutt-Abraham et al. 1983). Heath, however, warns that the reading on the voltage dial may over-estimate the actual voltage and amperage of the stunner.

  1. A setting of 100 to 120 volts killed only 51 to 75 percent of the broilers (Schutt-Abraham et al. 1983).
  2. A setting of 75 volts killed 8 percent of the birds
  3. And a setting of 95 volts killed 35 percent (Griffiths and Purcell 1984).

The use of a constant current power source would probably improve poultry stunning because amperage would not fluctuate when the number of birds in the water bath changed.

All such questions can be directed to "Humane Slaughter Association"

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#18 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 12:11
Based on above figures purely based on the maths (though obviously numerous field research live tests are required) if we reduced it to near 40v then that should easily get a 0% kill rate ...

My stance on stunning issue going forward has always been - If you go to a pro-stunning org (i.e. HFA or even South Africa's SANHA who allow poultry stunning) or a complete non-stunning org (i.e HMC) talk/presentation both camps quote studies and research to back their pro or anti stunning stance so....

Just a thought wrt the stunning issue. Might it not be an idea to have some sort of research on it here in the UK - agreed by all groups and parties (probably spearheaded by MCB). Couldnt you get say a large amount of chickens (say 100 or 1000 or if the moneys there 10,000 - I'm sure Eblex can v.easily help with such research) and stun them all with the same level of voltage in the same manner then check after few mins which ones have died? If any die or not wouldnt that aid the process here for the decision makers i.e. ulama? The voltage could be set at high or low or whichever to see at which stage does it kill, nearly kill or just knocks chickens out for a short duration..the gradually bring the voltage down during the research.

If any do die (at X voltage) then thats that i guess (for that specific volt level) and implement a blanket no stunning rule (for that specific volt level) which all parties will have to agree to but if any dont die (at X voltage level) then that level of stunning could be used could it not? Either way you'd have up-to-date evidence, open and transparent for all to see/verity, to prove one case or the other.
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#19 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 12:16
Topic split from for easy access and easy identification.

Jazakallahu khair.
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#20 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 12:24

"Daywalk3r" wrote:
Based on above figures purely based on the maths (though obviously numerous field research live tests are required) if we reduced it to near 40v then that should easily get a 0% kill rate ... My stance on stunning issue going forward has always been - If you go to a pro-stunning org (i.e. HFA or even South Africa’s SANHA who allow poultry stunning) or a complete non-stunning org (i.e HMC) talk/presentation both camps quote studies and research to back their pro or anti stunning stance so.... Just a thought wrt the stunning issue. Might it not be an idea to have some sort of research on it here in the UK - agreed by all groups and parties (probably spearheaded by MCB). Couldnt you get say a large amount of chickens (say 100 or 1000 or if the moneys there 10,000 – I’m sure Eblex can v.easily help with such research) and stun them all with the same level of voltage in the same manner then check after few mins which ones have died? If any die or not wouldnt that aid the process here for the decision makers i.e. ulama? The voltage could be set at high or low or whichever to see at which stage does it kill, nearly kill or just knocks chickens out for a short duration..the gradually bring the voltage down during the research. If any do die (at X voltage) then thats that i guess (for that specific volt level) and implement a blanket no stunning rule (for that specific volt level) which all parties will have to agree to but if any dont die (at X voltage level) then that level of stunning could be used could it not? Either way you'd have up-to-date evidence, open and transparent for all to see/verity, to prove one case or the other.

Email sent to enquire about the range of voltages in use in UK.

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#21 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 12:27
Factfile

Over 40 million cattle, calves, sheep, pigs and around 900 million poultry are killed every year in the United Kingdom for meat.

How are farm animals slaughtered?

The slaughter process has two stages: stunning and sticking. The law requires all animals (except those intended for certain groups that practice religious slaughter), to be stunned before sticking.

How is stunning carried out?

When performed correctly, stunning causes an animal to lose consciousness, so that it can't feel any pain until it is dead. The law states that, with few exemptions, all animals must be stunned before being stuck. Three main methods are used:

Captive bolt stunning is used on cattle, sheep and some pigs. A gun fires a metal bolt into the brain of the animal. The bolt does not kill the animal (stop the heart) but, if used correctly, causes the animal to lose consciousness immediately.

Electrical stunning is used on sheep, calves and pigs. A large pair of tongs is placed on either side of the animal's head and an electrical current passed through the brain. Unlike captive bolt stunning, which usually causes irreversible unconsciousness, electrical stunning causes temporary loss of consciousness. With some electrical stunning systems the current is also passed through the heart, so that the animal is both stunned and killed. Poultry may also be stunned by passing them through an electrically-charged water bath (see below).

Gas stunning/killing involves the use of gas mixtures to kill pigs and poultry. Pigs are exposed to mixtures of air and carbon dioxide, with poultry exposed to mixtures of air and argon gas, until the animals are unconscious. The UK law states that animals must be killed, not just stunned, using this method.

What is sticking and how is it done?

In the case of mammals, once an animal has been stunned it is shackled by a hind leg and hoisted above the ground. The slaughterman sticks the animal (cuts its throat), using a very sharp knife, severing the major blood vessels in its neck/chest that supply the brain, ensuring rapid blood loss. Once enough blood has left the body, the heart stops beating and the animal is dead.

How are poultry slaughtered?

Because of the huge number of birds slaughtered each year (around 900 million) the process of slaughtering poultry is largely automated. After arriving at the slaughterhouse birds are usually removed from the plastic crates in which they were packed at the farm, and hung upside down by their legs on metal shackles on a moving conveyor belt. The birds move along the production line to the stunning water bath. When the bird's head makes contact with the water, an electrical circuit between the water bath and shackle is completed, which stuns the bird. The conveyor belt then moves the birds along to a mechanical neck cutter, which cuts the major blood vessels in the neck.

Many chickens, hens and turkeys are now killed using gas mixtures. Birds remain in the plastic transport crates and are placed into the gas chamber where they remain until dead. This method avoids the need to handle and 'shackle' live birds, so has some welfare advantages.

What is religious slaughter?

In the UK, the Jewish and Muslim communities are exempt from a section of the law that requires all animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered. There are differences in the way animals are slaughtered by the Shechita (Jewish) and Halal (Muslim) methods, but both involve cutting the animal's throat with a very sharp knife, in many cases without pre-stunning. Within both the Jewish and Muslim communities there are different interpretations of the religious laws. The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) 'Animal Welfare Review' (March 2004) indicated that, at that time, the majority of cattle (but not other species) killed by the Shechita method received a post-cut stun, and that around 90 per cent of Halal slaughter involved pre-stunning.

SOURCE
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#22 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 12:41
SOURCE

RSPCA wrote:
Around 93% of Halal slaughter of small ruminants in the UK involve pre-stunning [/quote]

[quote="RSPCA"]Muslims and Jews are exempt from a section of the law in The Welfare of Animal (slaughter or killing) Regulations 1995 that requires the animal to be stunned before they are slaughtered


If the Muslims are exempt, there is no need for stunning. (and I'm not saying that it is wrong or correct). This all comes down to the abattiors who want to sell their poultry to those who do not sell the same chicken as halal. Its a big money making industry who dont really care what is exempt for them as long as they get their income. Allahu Alum
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#23 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 16:29
in principle i would agree - if the option is there to not stun then defi take it.

yes, it is a big money making industry which sometime (mostly not though) i think works to the Muslims advantage when it comes to getting backing from the Industry if UK Muslims who are about 2-3% at most of the UK population but consume around 35% of the total lamb meat consumed by the entire UK - i.e. alot of$ at stake for the companies. Two groups that'll help UK Muslims the most when it comes to Halal meat issues is (a) jews and (b) the (red) meat companies (non-stunned meat is growing in term of % of sales year-on-year). Muslim groups in general like MCB, MPACUK, Muslim Parliament of Britain, Sufi Muslim Council, Isoc GB etc all pretty poor when it comes to co-ordinating lobbying of policy makers.
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#24 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 16:37
Theres possibly also an infrastructure issue.

This is a post that Mufti Hussain (current ameer of sunniforum) posted on SF:-

the reason for allowing stunning in our country was to allow all Muslims access to cheap halal chicken.

Here is part of a discussion on the issue:

While South African law demands the stunning of animals prior to slaughter, exceptions -for religious reasons- are granted. The jews, for example, slaughter without stunning.
Most of the smaller Muslim farms and abattoirs don't stun, especially the chicken ones, however the majority of the beef abattoirs practisestunning.

Chicken that hasn't been stunned is available in most cities very easily, however in smaller supply. We normally buy this chicken.
However, any abattoir wanting to slaughter in big numbers - between 50 000 to 250 000- chickens and maybe 1000 cattle daily, has to usestunning, as the facilities don't exist for such large numbers without stunning.

The ulama of our country had to decide to either insist on "no stunning" and face
1. a problem of shortage of supply,
2. no certification for big take-away and restaurant chains,
3. high price of halal chicken (kosher beef is about double the price of other beef),
4. possible contamination problems as abattoirs would have to be divided in "halal no stunning sections" and "haram stunning sections" as they cannot be financially viable on using "no stunning".
This is in addition to other problems,

or
- certify meat that has been stunned in such a way that no possibility exists of it being haram.
Those who want unstunned meat could get them from the various muslim farms, while the following benefits would arise:
1. Halal chicken can be purchased virtually anywhere in the country.
2. An abundance of halal food outlets, as the certification would be really eased by the fact that the meat supply- normally the biggest problem- would be taken care of.
3. Cheap halal meat and chicken available to the masses
4. Abattoirs- even the huge ones doing 250 000 chicken daily- are totally dedicated to halal meat, without any mechanical slaughtering.

Thus our Ulama decided to certify such abattoirs, with a long list of safeguards added. From amongst them:
1. Muslim slaughterers who are trained and supplied via Sanha.
2. A full-time muslim supervisor, also from Sanha.
3. Such low voltage that it just prevents the bird from fluttering around excessively, without any possibility of harming the bird.
4. Checks are carried out by the supervisor, wherein he randomly picks birds at least thrice a day, after being stunned and removes them from the line. The bird must revive, otherwise the voltage is too high!
5. Slaughterers are trained to watch for a dead bird. I visited a plant and asked one of the slaughters about this. He said that a dead bird is extremely easy to spot and he then rattled of a few tell-tale signs.

This is for chicken. Beef stunning is irreversible, so caution had to be applied to ensure that the animal is slaughtered before it could die. It has to be slaughtered within a minute of stunning.

The ideal situation would be to have no stunning at all, even in the big abattoirs, however that isn't possible at the moment.

The main problem in South Africa isn't the law. Inshallah, with a little petitioning based on religious grounds, exclusion is quite easy to attain, especially from our government who are much more in favour of granting religious rights, than most others.

The problem is with the infrastructure in the abattoirs. Huge financial injection would be needed to upgrade the abattoirs in order to make it possible for them to run without stunning. While the Muslims of South Africa are fortunate to have a good say in the community, our less than 2% population doesn't give us that much punch in the corporate sector that we can force huge companies to completely change the infrastructure, especially the beef abattoirs.
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#25 [Permalink] Posted on 30th August 2012 18:12

"rizmalek" wrote:
because of the over whelming muslim population in South Africa.

"over whelming" ? Its roughly the same % as UK i.e. at most a few percentage of population of about 55m.

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#26 [Permalink] Posted on 10th October 2012 15:05
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#27 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2014 11:18
UK: RSPCA renews call for non-stun meat labels

The RSPCA renewed its call for clear labelling of non-stunned meat ahead of the House of Lords debate on religious slaughter on Thursday (16 January).


EU: MEPs call for mandatory labelling of non-stunned meat

The House of Lords will today debate the ethical, legal and religious factors that influence the way animals are slaughtered in the UK. Ahead of the debate, the RSPCA, British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) have issued a joint statement calling for all animals to be effectively stunned before being slaughtered. Current animal welfare legislation requires the stunning of animals prior to slaughter, with exemptions for ritual slaughter in order to meet Muslim halal and Jewish kosher requirements.

Animal welfare organisations are also calling for food derived from animals slaughtered under the legal exemption to be restricted to the specific religious communities according to whose beliefs the animals have been slaughtered.

The welfare group is campaigning for an end to non-stun meat, claiming that scientific research shows slaughtering animals without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering. Until then, it wants to see meat labelled clearly with production methods.

"We are calling for clear labelling, so shoppers are armed with information that can enable them to make an informed choice about whether they buy meat from animals that have not been stunned before slaughter," said Dr Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA's farm animal science department.

Some meat that has been slaughtered without first being stunned may be rejected by the Jewish community, as some parts of the hindquarters and damaged carcasses are not considered Kosher.

Instead the meat is sold unlabelled on the open market.


"Farm animals deserve to be treated with care and respect," said Julia Wrathall.

Dr Wrathall added: "Until there is better, universal labelling, shoppers should look for the blue and white Freedom Food label. Meat produced under this RSPCA assurance scheme comes from animals inspected to the RSPCA's farm animal welfare standards which do not permit slaughter without pre-stunning."

In 2011, the RSPCA supported amendments to the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation which proposed to label meat products from 'special slaughter', for which the labelling would include: 'Meat from slaughter without stunning' but the legislation was rejected.

In April 2012, the society also backed a Ten Minute Rule Bill on Food Labelling which was taken through Parliament by MP Philip Davies.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill was pushed to a vote but wasn't carried.

A spokesman for campaign group Shechita UK, which represents the Jewish community on issues relating to religious slaughter, said: "The RSPCA would have us believe that the shooting, electrocuting, gassing, drowning, clubbing or other legal methods of mechanical stunning are somehow more humane than religious slaughter but the fact is that there is no conclusive scientific basis for that claim."

"The RSPCA position on labelling is entirely disingenuous.

"Consumers have no less of a right to know if an animal was shot between the eyes with a captive bolt gun or electrocuted in a water bath but once again the RSPCA is determined to campaign for selective, pejorative labelling which singles out faith communities.

"The Jewish community is fully supportive of comprehensive and transparent labelling of all methods of slaughter and we call upon the RSPCA, once again, to join with us instead of attacking us."

According to the latest results of the Food Standards Agency (FSA)'s Animal Welfare Survey, around 3% of cattle, 10% of sheep and goats and 4% of poultry in Great Britain are not stunned before slaughter. Although most animals slaughtered for the halal market are pre-stunned, none slaughtered for the kosher market were stunned before slaughter.

"The RSPCA believes mandatory labelling should be introduced so that all meat that has not been stunned is labelled and we will press for European rules on this in 2014," said the group.

The RSPCA submitted a report on the issue to the House of Lords ahead of the debate. David Bowles, head of public affairs for the RSPCA, who wrote the report, said: "We know this is a subject our supporters feel passionately about. We share their welfare concerns and that is why we have continued to campaign for religious slaughter to be discussed at the highest possible levels."
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#28 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2014 12:13
Salaamualaikum warahmattullah

In my teens, I was a farmer in upstate New York. My father was in the business then of raising and slaughtering lamb,goat and cow.my family use to supply halal meat to Muslims in NYC on a small scale. I remember a few times visiting a non Muslim slaughter house with my father and we saw how they slaughter cows, pigs and lambs. Just as brother Abu Muhammad explained, they use bolt guns for cows and electric stunning for pigs and sheep. What's even more sad is that the poor animals were not even given any time to die in peace and the butcherers would start cutting away with their knives while the animals were jerking and moving around from the pain of the cutting. I asked the owner as to why he allowed this and his reply was that he had no time to waste because they had a large volume of animals to get done and he wasn't concerned about being humaine to animals. "" time is money"" those were his words. The kuffar have no mercy to animals and we muslims have to lead by example by showing mercy to animals.may allah help us all.
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#29 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2014 13:22
Some (UK) muslim and jewish groups have said for the past year if you really want to make it completely fair and transparent label those meats also that have been stunned and describe clearly on the label itself the stunning manner i.e. gassed, electrocuted, bolt gun etc. If the RSPCA dont ask for that also then they dont really give a dam about the welfare of animals and/or consumer choice to know how the animal the eat is killed! Hypocrites!.
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#30 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2014 17:19
I m wondering, aren't there many rich Muslims in UK? Why cant one of them start a proper Halal chicken production line.
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