6 May 2012
Finding Halal meat is one of the most problematic issues for European Muslims and they are increasingly becoming a target of animal welfare originations. Similar to Judaism, Islam decrees upon practicing Muslims to eat only the meat of animals slaughtered according to Islamic rituals. Anything other than this is not edible for Muslims, save for life threatening situations. However, slaughtering animals is considered to be inhumane by animal welfare organizations thus the issue becomes a matter of tension between Muslims and the host communities.
The French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fishing published a report in 2008, on Religious Slaughter and the Welfare of Animals which was based upon scientific research including a French veterinary PhD. According to the report, if executed properly religious slaughter causes less trauma to the animal than the conventional ways of killing, thus it is more humane.
According to reports, a leading veterinarian, Professor Bill Reilly has recently criticised the rise in the number of animals slaughtered according to religious laws and suggested it should be either curbed or banned. This sparked a harsh reaction from the Muslim community who considered it an attempt to interfere with their religion.