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 Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole

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adam antichrist
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PostSubject: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:22 pm

Royal plea to PM on ritual slaughter
LORNA EDWARDS
November 2, 2009

PRINCESS Alia bint al-Hussein of Jordan has appealed to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to stop the ritual slaughter of conscious animals for halal meat in Australia.

She said its continuation would set back attempts to improve animal welfare in the Middle East.

The princess, sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, told The Age she had written to Mr Rudd to voice her concerns that any lowering of animal welfare standards in Australia for religious reasons would be a blow to Australia's reputation and undermine progress in the region.

She said killing without stunning ''may meet the personal preferences of a minority'', but was ''not necessary'' under Islamic principles. Australia exports 1.3 million tonnes of red meat, of which 382,000 tonnes is certified halal.

The Australian standard on ritual slaughter for halal and kosher meat states that animals must be rendered unconscious by electrical stunning before their throats are cut. But under a disputed federal guideline, the Government has allowed at least four Victorian abattoirs exemptions to kill without stunning to fulfil Middle Eastern export contracts over the past two years.

The Primary Industries Ministerial Council of federal and state agriculture ministers will discuss the issue in Perth on Friday, but opponents of killing without stunning are concerned that exemptions will be allowed to continue, or the standard will be changed.

The previous government ordered a review of ritual slaughter in 2007, but federal Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke has not released the review report and is yet to decide on the issue.

Princess Alia said she believed Mr Rudd had a genuine interest in animal welfare and had assisted Jordan with upgrading equipment - previously provided by Australia - that she considered inhumane at the main abattoir in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Jordan imports more than a million live sheep and cattle from Australia each year.

Mr Burke said agriculture ministers would receive an update on technical details at Friday's meetings.

''There are a variety of views within Islam as to what constitutes halal food, and a similar range of views in Judaism as to what constitutes kosher food,'' he said. ''It's not for government to adjudicate over these differences, but it is our role within the spectrum of faiths in Australia to promote the most humane practices.''

But Princess Alia said Muslims who believed animals could not be stunned before slaughter for halal meat were not educated about the true teachings of Islam.

''I say this based on several fatwas and extensive discussions with the Islamic authorities who are qualified to pronounce upon such matters,'' she said.

Mr Burke has faced increasing pressure over the ritual slaughter issue. A Labor backbencher, member for Fremantle Melissa Parke, tabled a question in Parliament last week asking why exemptions to the ritual slaughter standard were granted and what consultations had taken place with religious groups.

Ms Parke told The Age she believed all slaughter for meat production, ritual or otherwise, should require stunning under the Australian standard.

''There is no excuse for the mistreatment of animals, especially when ritual slaughter for religious reasons can be - and is being - conducted in keeping with humane animal welfare standards.''

She said her view was consistent with Labor Party principles and that at the recent ALP conference the party had adopted an animal welfare protection statement stipulating that animals should be treated humanely.

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:31 pm

Princess Alia bint Al Hussein is the sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan. She established the Princess Alia Foundation to promote respect towards all creation and to improve the lives of animals in the Middle East.

Inhumane slaughter puts Australia's reputation at risk
JORDAN'S PRINCESS ALIA
November 2, 2009

AUSTRALIA is one of the few countries to consistently treat animals humanely during slaughter and its meat has gained wide acceptance in the Middle East as meeting halal standards. This is important in ensuring the acceptability of its meat exports to the Islamic world.

The thing that sets the Australian meat industry apart is that animals have been stunned and are unconscious before they are slaughtered.

But now Australia is considering lowering its standards. This is a great blow to all concerned with animal welfare. Such a decision will harm Australia's reputation, will hamper efforts to have stunning more broadly accepted in the Middle East and could encourage other Middle Eastern importers to request non-stunned meat. This would be disastrous from an animal welfare perspective as imported Australian halal stunned meat is undoubtedly the most humanely produced meat available to consumers in the Middle East.

I have written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd expressing my concerns. I believe the Prime Minister has a genuine interest in animal welfare, as we have previously corresponded over the matter of an inhumane restraining device for inverting cattle (which was donated to Jordan by Meat & Livestock Australia).

He understood my concerns and the Rudd Government replaced this device and funded humane restraining and stunning equipment for both sheep and cattle. This has greatly improved the situation in my country, Jordan - for the animals, workers and consumers. It would be a great shame therefore if the Government now lowered its standards to permit the animal suffering that results from non-stunned slaughter.

Contrary to some claims, killing without stunning is not necessary under Islamic principles. I say this based on several fatwas and extensive discussions with the Islamic authorities who are qualified to pronounce upon such matters.

The only proscription is to actually kill an animal before cutting its throat, which is why penetrative stunning is not allowed. Percussion and electrical stunning have been developed and refined and, when properly used, are both reliable and reversible.

Failure to understand this makes some Muslims reject stunning. Rather than giving in to pressure, surely the intelligent - and responsible - thing is to educate them on this matter.

The ethical treatment of animals is very much a part of Islamic teachings. Young animals should not be taken away from their mothers too early, causing undue distress, nor should animals be subjected to harsh treatment. They are described as being ''nations such as yourselves'', an acknowledgment of their sentience that has been part of Islam for more than 1500 years. (The European Union only officially recognised this in 1999.)

With regard to slaughter specifically, Muslims are told to ''lead them in a beautiful way''. Animals are not to be pulled or pushed, they are not to be mutilated, nor slaughtered in front of each other and never shown the knife to be used for slaughter; that way, little or no indication is given of what is about to happen. They are not supposed to have their legs tied or feet restrained while being slaughtered. They must be offered a drink of water before slaughter and the instrument must be extremely sharp to ensure one clean cut.

Islam even specifies which arteries are to be severed and modern science confirms that this requirement causes maximum loss of blood in the minimum time.

In addition, it is specified that a ''concussed'' animal - such as an animal having had an accident and been rendered unconscious - is considered halal to slaughter.

Many in the Middle East consume imported Australian meat as it is considered halal. However, given these clear religious teachings, this could change if non-stunned slaughter is accepted in Australia.

Arguments, often put forward by Muslims, that Islam is not concerned with animal welfare show a lack of knowledge of our religion and our intrinsic culture. When Islam's guidelines on the matter were set, those who established and upheld them were neither more affluent nor under less pressure than people are today.

A conscious decision to cause an animal pain is in essence a loss of humanity as we bear the responsibility to behave in a respectful and humane way towards all God's creatures, humans or otherwise. A lack of sensitivity towards animals too often leads to a lack of sensitivity towards each other. This respect and sensitivity is what makes us human.

There is obviously a great deal of work to be done to improve the welfare of animals in the Middle East and to encourage treatment that reflects true Islamic principles.

This can be assisted when countries such as Australia lead the way in ensuring animal welfare by enshrining standards of care in legislation.

Reducing those standards to permit animals to be slaughtered while fully conscious may meet the personal preferences of a minority but is not an example that will inspire change, nor encourage the acceptance of pre-slaughter stunning in the Middle East.

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:35 pm

This is the same deal that you posted before about Auzzies not allowing the Muslims to stuff goats in the back seat of cars isn't it? How is all that going?

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:36 am

That is still happening. This is a bit different since it happens here in australia. One of the problems connected to this is that people who are ok with eating meat or byproducts derived from "humane" slaughter will still be consuming stuff from these animals which were not even stunned before slaughter since not everything will be used in the Hebrew or Muslim communities.

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:19 am

So regular peeps are purchasing these animals alongside the Muslims who do it for religious reasons, kind of like our rednecks?

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:45 am

no, but the end result products are available to everyone. IE halal gelatine in confectionery actually comes from animals which may not have been stunned, whereas ordinary gelatine you can be sure that the animal probably was stunned. If that is what makes the difference for you.

Another issue, and I'm not sure how true this is; but I've heard that only portions of an animal slaughtered under the rules of kosher are suitable for hebrews and other parts must be modified by the removal of blood and certain tissue. This is harder in some parts than others, so these other parts get thrown in with the "ordinary" meats and may be sold on supermarket shelves. But as I said, I'm not sure about this. I think someone provided more specific info on CC or VF, not that that helps us now!

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PostSubject: Re: Jordanian princess criticises Australia's ritual slaughter loophole   Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:08 am

Oh like kosher stuff is only certain parts but the rest get dumped into the gentile pile. Gentile pile, I like that. I have to fit that into regular conversations. I get that stunning is important, but if I had to choose between a cruel death or a cruel like, I say forgo the stun but raise them eating proper food and give them room to roam and clean natural environments. (and not this BS that the organic con-men put out there)

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