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Butchers urged to slaughter animals humanely
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 10 - 11 - 2010

CAIRO - Egyptian animal rights activists have threatened to take legal action against any person caught slaughtering sheep, rams or cows in a barbaric way during Eid el-Adha (the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice), which begins on November 16.
The activists, led by Dr Ahmed Samir of Cairo, have urged butchers and citizens to be more humane when slaughtering animals in accordance with Islamic principles and the traditions of the Prophet Mohamed.
Samir, the ex-chairman of the Veterinarians' Union, said that butchers should avoid being cruel when slaughtering an animal.
"Islamic slaughtering methods dictate that the animal should be treated well before having its throat slit with a very sharp knife," he stressed, adding that, with the Islamic (halal) method of slaughtering, the animal does not feel any pain because the cut to the neck is so swift.
"A few seconds after having its throat slit, the animal lapses into unconsciousness, brought about by the draining of large quantities of blood from its body," he explained.
Samir indicated that the animal feels no pain at all, although its heart is still beating and its body is still shaking vigorously, due to a reflex reaction of the spinal cord.
"It is this phase, which is most unpleasant to onlookers who are falsely convinced that the animal suffers whilst its brain doesn't actually record sensual messages any longer," he added.
Samir said that the Islamic method of killing animals for food was humane. However, he exhorted butchers to be more concerned about the feelings of the animals and not to put them to any unnecessary pain.
“Islam is a balanced way of life. For Muslims, the privilege of supplementing their diet with animal protein implies a duty to animal welfare, both during the rearing of the animal and its slaughter. The Islamic way guarantees a healthier life for the animal and healthier meat for the eaters," he pointed out.
Samir warned that he will take legal action against any person found guilty of mistreating or harming animals, during the feast or at any other time in the future.
Cairo-based animal rights activists support the initiative of Samir, who said that Islam has the most comprehensive animal rights laws.

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