Ban inhumane halal meat slaughter in India

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Animals killed by way of halal, according to Islamic law, cannot be stunned before their throat, windpipe and the blood vessels around the neck are slit, which means that many animals thrash and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks.


Though such cruel practices are outlawed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (“1960 Act”), however, it is still carried out in India due to ignorance and illiteracy of the minority masses aided by the manipulation by politicians for their vote-bank politics. Because of these factors, the barbaric practice of halal can never be banned completely in this country. Religious convictions, however deeply held, do not justify such unnecessary and savage cruelty to animals. Being a non-vegetarian by birth, I understand there are certain moral realities in my life that I just have to make my peace with, but at the same time, I won't willingly eat meat that I know comes from mistreated animals. 


Hence, to ensure decent treatment of animals, the Animal Welfare Board of India established under Section 4 of the 1960 Act must –


(a)   introduce approved stunning methods as per existing EU legislation which aims to minimise the pain and suffering of animals, based on scientific knowledge and practical experience. According to the EU legislation, all animals are to be stunned before slaughter and stunning is defined as any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain, including any process resulting in instant death. This should be made mandatory.


(b)    introduce mandatory minimal-stress slaughterhouse designs to ensure least suffering of animals.


(c)    ensure that halal meat is stated as such on all halal products. Most of us eat halal meat unwittingly on a daily basis. If we can’t ban halal meat, we should at least let decent people know when they’re buying it.


(d)   any establishment not adhering to the cruelty-free guidelines (to be in line with EU legislations) issued by the Board will face closure upon receipt of sufficient evidence by the Board and after a fair hearing.


“The greatness of a nation is judged by the way it treats its animals” - Mahatma Gandhi