Now, in this second part, I will analyze the three most common modern ways of slaughtering and point out, one by one, the disadvantages. You can be the judge after this, of whether the debate of banning the Islamic way is in any way justifiable.
1. The captive bolt pistol
This method is used commonly for cattle, calves and goats. It is the shooting, by a gun or pistol in the forehead (mechanical method) by a blank cartridge or compressed air. It could be penetrating or non-penetrating (percussion stunning). It breaks the skull, shatters and destroys the brain. A rod of steel is introduced in the skull hole to smash, cut and destroy the brain. All this occurs before the real slaughtering cut is made. Recently, a new method by which a steel needle to penetrate the skull and brain and in which air is injected to cause intercranial pressure has been developed. Problems, harm and results of this method have been reported in different scientific and Government reports, as follows:
•Improper stunning (failure of stunning leading to re-stunning and double shots)
•Paralysis of the animal while still conscious.
•‘Depressed skull fracture’ and considerable damage to the brain.
•Blood splash (extranvasation of blood from vessels Into muscle and meat with some clotting of the blood).
•Bruising and injuries from the heavy fall of the animal after the shot.
•Death reported by Lawton (1971) stated that tests on sheep and calves indicated that penetrating captive bolt stunning actually kills the animal.
•Damage or harm to the meat.
2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
it is done by moving the animal through a room which contains a mixture of CO2 and air (about 65/70% CO2 by volume). It is a form of chemical strangulation. CO2 is a harmful gas to be inside the body. Problems and harm reported include:
•Considerable, unacceptable stress (violent excitation, general agitation and convulsions).
•Suffocation, strangulation and death to the animal before the cut.
•Toxic effect of the gas on the blood and physiology.
•It is definitely a cruel way for the animal and I would like to quote here also from FAWC (1984) when they discussed pain; ‘It is doubtful whether the animal feels pain or is even conscious’.
3. Electrical Stunning
This could be to head and brain only or to head and back or to the legs, and there are three varieties. The most common is Low Voltage Electrical Stunning by a pair of scissors-like tongs with circular or rectangular electrodes which are usually immersed in a saline solution then applied to the side of the head. Voltage is not less than 75 volts (50 Hz mains frequency) for not less than seven seconds. Problems and harms with this method include:
•It is cruel, by giving an electric shock directly, with no anesthesia.
•Paralysis while the animal is conscious (pain).
•Unreliable: missed shots and re-stunning.
•Recovery of the animal usually occurs within 30-40 seconds. Electric stunning only induces paralysis, not unconsciousness, leaving the animal helpless but completely conscious to pain.
•Some scientists and physiologists have expressed serious misgivings; some are of the opinion that the animal is merely paralyzed by the electric current and so prevented from making a sound or a movement while fully conscious and experiences great pain as the current passes through its body
Read through the methods again, and tell me, which is the ideal one? None of them! Because each causes pain to animals for longer and much more than necessary. Each is unreliable meaning an animal could need to go through it more than one. They all compromise the quality of meat produced and are fairly expensive processes.
So now I ask, why the debate on banning the Islamic method? It is clearly much better than the modern methods. The debate is unjustifiable and a direct attack on Muslims and Islam.
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