The horror of halal slaughter

I ADORE cooking Indian dishes. When I was still living in the UK my provisions cupboards were fully stocked with items readily available from a variety of stores stocking the herbs, spices and pastes needed to create great curries and other Asian recipes.

But here on the Costa Blanca in Spain I have been unable to find similar outlets – until yesterday, when, following directions given by a friend, I found a store that has everything one could wish for.

But I left empty-handed.

Because the shop prominently proclaimed itself a stockist of sharia-compliant meat and other products, I baulked at the idea of making any purchases. I detest the practice of religious slaughter because of the cruelty involved, and will not, on principle, consume halal or kosher meat. Nor will I support any establishments that offer it.

An animal is subjected to intolerable levels of cruelty before being messily slaughtered in an Indonesian abattoir. Click on pic to see a video produced by Animals Australia and the RSPCA as part of their campaign to end live animal exports.

My horror of halal slaughter went into overdrive this morning when I was sent a link by David Nicholls, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, to a Four Corners programme aired last night on the Australian TV channel, ABC1. Called A Bloody Business, it was an expose of Australia’s live cattle export trade to Indonesia.

Australia sends about 500,000 cattle there each year in a trade worth more than $300 million. Six million cattle have been sent to Indonesia for religious slaughter since the trade began two decades ago, supplying a growing demand for beef.

Despite industry assurances that the welfare of cattle sent to Indonesia is “generally good”, Four Corners revealed that many thousands of these animals die slow and hideous deaths. Four Corners went into the abattoirs that the Australian meat industry does not want the public to see. The results shocked shock and confronted the industry and government officials with the question:

How much suffering must these animals endure for the sake of profit?

The transcript of the programme can be accessed here.

Given Islam’s contempt for human life – as evidenced by this report of the stoning of a Muslim girl for taking part in a beauty contest – it is most unlikely that conditions in halal abattoirs will improve any time soon. This is not to say that we should give up on campaigning against religious slaughter. On the contrary, we should be redoubling out efforts to end it.

Hat Tip: BarrieJohn (stoning report).