International Halal Integrity Alliance on Animal Welfare in Religious Slaughter

6 July 2011


Recently the media has been inundated with news on the export ban on
live cattle from Australia to Indonesia based on the video footage by
ABC leading to an outcry of Australians claiming animal cruelty in
Indonesian slaughterhouses. The same underlying issue of animal
welfare in religious slaughter has also resulted in a bill that has
been passed in Holland to ban non-stun kosher and Halal slaughter.

The issue of animal welfare in religious slaughter is most often taken
at face value where only the negatives are highlighted and up-played
leading to a worldwide outcry and marginalization of the Jews and the
Muslims worldwide.

In response to these issues, the International Halal Integrity
Alliance (IHI Alliance), the global Halal authority created to uphold
the integrity of the Halal market concept in global trade would like
to share a point of view and offer a solution to this rising problem
of animal welfare in religious slaughter:

“There has been too much emphasis on stunning as being a panacea for
animal welfare issues. It is akin to saying that banning motorcycles
would solve the problems of global warming. There are so many other
animal welfare issues further up the supply chain that need to be
addressed. In the video footage of the “Four Corners” expose, a lot of
the abuse and mishandling took place in the holding yards, races,
chutes and loading ramps – all of which take place far away from the
slaughter box where stunning would be performed. We would support a
full system audit which covers the entire process from farm to
transportation to slaughterhouse handling. A comprehensive system such
as the ICCI-IHI Alliance Standards for Animal Welfare & Handling would
address all these areas so that by the time the animal arrives at the
slaughter area, it is already calm enough and adequately restrained so
as to not require any stunning. The OIE guidelines themselves do not
require stunning as mandatory hence the Indonesian abattoirs can
comply with international standards without having to perform
pre-slaughter stunning.”

Clearly in the matter of religious slaughter, animal welfare goes
beyond the slaughter boxes alone, and balanced information that looks
at both sides of the coin should be made available to all for a fair
judgment of the situation without sidelining the religious rights of
the Muslims and Jews across the world.

About IHI Alliance

The International Halal Integrity Alliance (“IHI Alliance”) is an
international non-profit organization created to uphold the integrity
of the halal market concept in global trade through certification,
collaboration and membership. The global Halal industry is devoid of a
significant non-government organisation (NGO) presence or position
that can provide accreditation to certification bodies. The main
reason for this is due to the absence of a constructive platform for
the industries to communicate and network. The absence of a credible
reference centre for information has resulted in industries and
consumers being bombarded with various interpretations of the meaning
and application of Halal which often contradict each other. Initial
feedback has indicated that there is a significant need for a neutral
platform established based on studies carried out worldwide. It was
against this backdrop that the IHI Alliance was formed.

1.    To promote and develop best practices for assuring halal integrity
across the entire supply chain of the halal industry
2.    To promote the understanding and acceptance of halal goods and
services globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers.
3.    To make halal products and services more widely available
especially in non-Muslim countries by encouraging more
manufacturers/service providers to introduce or expand halal product
4.    To facilitate research in creating a knowledge base on halal and
development of new products and technologies that will provide
solutions for halal industry players.
5.    To work harmoniously with various governments in global
humanitarian efforts to develop the halal industry and foster
intra-OIC trade.