UK Muslim scholars reject mechanical slaughtering

Muslim scholars have rejected calls for mechanical slaughtering in the UK halal meat industry, a survey commissioned by the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) has revealed.

UK scholars were asked a series of questions regarding the acceptance of mechanical slaughtering where, according to the HMC, 95% of the Ulama (Muslim legal scholars) did not accept “mechanical slaughtering” as an accepted method of halal slaughtering in Islam while 2.1% said they wanted to understand the issue further.

HMC operations manager Nadeem Adam said: “People will be surprised to learn of the widespread use of mechanical slaughter in the provision of halal poultry in the UK. There are many UK superstores that need to be aware of the message from UK scholars and should ensure their halal products are at a standard acceptable to their Muslim consumers.”

The responses that have been received from 282 imams and muftis (Sunni Islamic scholars) from cities such as London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leicester, also revealed that 99.7% stated the Bismillah (prayer) should be prayed individually by a Muslim slaughtering and not taped or by a person standing by a machine.

“This survey is the largest of its  kind conducted in the UK and sets clear guidelines of acceptability and standards for halal in this country,” added HMC chairman and Eblex Steering Group member Shaykh Yunus Dudhwala.

A meeting last month involving Malaysian authorities, a country at the forefront of halal known as ‘the Halal Hub of the World’, were reported to have taken similar advice from world scholars and removed mechanical slaughter from its halal standards. Naved Syed, part of Eblex’s Halal Steering Group, agreed with the findings and said the UK should listen to the views of Muslim scholars and the public and remove the use of mechanical slaughter from its halal standard and ban this practice for halal slaughter. This would be in line, he added, with the Middle East view on halal slaughter and will ensure halal meat export into the Middle East.

HMC’s February Newsletter with information on their study can be downloaded here