Zabiha Procedure: Option?
By Dr. Rizwana Rahim
Chicago, IL

Meat that is permissible for Muslims (Halal) must, according to Islamic requirements, come from animals slaughtered in the name of Allah, and after the animal is to drained of its blood. The process is similar to 'schechita', the religious slaughter according to the Jewish dietary laws. Muslims believe that this drainage would be complete only after slitting the main artery in an animal's throat.
A research team from the University of Bristol (UK) tried to find out if stunning the animal, before slaughtering it, would affect the blood drainage in any way. Haluk Anil and research team had previously shown in sheep that stunning the animal before slaughter did not have any significant effect on blood drainage.
Now, in their recent experiment, they killed 13 cattle by the traditional Muslim way (Group 1), and measured the amount and the rate of blood loss. Both the total amount of the drained blood and the rate of its drainage were not significantly different from the same measurements in an equal number of cattle, killed after stunning them first with captive-pistol blow their heads. The results were published in Animal Welfare, Vol 15, Page 325, 2006.
Anil is coordinating a project of the European Union, designed to analyze both Zabiha and Schechita processes for legislative and animal welfare purposes.
The Qur’an says (2: 173), "He has only forbidden you dead meat and blood, and the flesh of swine and that on which other name has been invoked."
The report did not include any comment or reaction by Islamic and Jewish
religious scholars as to the acceptability of this alternative.
[Based on a news item from 'New Scientist', 2 December 2006)


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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