Is the meat that you eat halal? This and other questions are asked by many before consuming meat in India, including Okhla.
To be on the safer side many people prefer purchasing meat from Muslim shops in the belief that the meat must be halal and the method used to slaughter animals must be halal.
But mind you one could be for a shock after a surprise inspection held at the Ghazipur slaughter house from where meat is supplied across Delhi, and maybe including shops in Okhla too, cattle were found being ‘electrocuted’ rather than being slaughtered.
Usually cattle not only in Delhi but across several countries in the world including the West are stunned before being slaughtered. However, slaughterhouse in East Delhi has been found flouting the law.
“In slaughterhouses, ‘stunning’ — a process of rendering the animals unconscious before killing them — is followed, but not in this case. Buffaloes were being electrocuted by placing a live wire on their body, before slitting their throat,” said East Delhi Mayor Satya Sharma Sharma, adding that he found many buffaloes and sheep suspended upside down from hooks while they were still conscious as reported by the PTI on August 18.
The report has sparked a debate on cattle being slaughtered in abattoir using halal method. Activist Md Tajuddin said: “If it is happening then it is wrong as the meet too is not halal for consumption. Also, this is inhuman treatment to the cattle. In Islam it has been instructed that before slaughtering the animal special treatment should be given. And all care needs to be taken that the animal is not in pain. The method of slaughter is questionable.”
Islamic scholar Rziul Islam Nadwi said: “Meat of cattle being ‘electrocuted’ rather than being slaughtered is not halal. And the method too is un-Islamic.”
The Arabic word halal means permissible and the rules of slaughter are based on Islamic law. The animal has to be alive and healthy, a Muslim has to perform the slaughter in the appropriate ritual manner, and the animal’s throat must be cut by a sharp knife severing the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe in a single swipe. Blood must be drained out of the carcass, claimed theguardian.com report.
During the inspection on August 10, the mayor was accompanied by Additional Commissioner EDMC, C A Dhan, Delhi Slaughterhouse Monitoring Committee member Gauri Maulekhi, and a few animal rights experts, reported the agency.
“Besides, we also found that buffaloes and sheep were suspended upside down from hooks even while they were conscious. There was no provision to separate sick animals from the rest of the herd,” Sharma said.
“It was my first inspection and truly shocking what we saw. Such brazen cruelty to animals is unacceptable, and I have already written to the EDMC Commissioner seeking action against the Director of Veterinary in this connection.
“We have also sought a proper counting of animals kept there and installation of CCTV cameras there,” Sharma said.
Delhi Slaughterhouse Monitoring Committee member Maulekhi said: “Ghazipur slaughterhouse has so far been a public liability. The facility costs over Rs 5,000 crore to the Delhi government and is leased at a mere Rs 4 crore per annum to the contractor company. The contractor is flouting all laws with impunity and compromising food safety and animal welfare, right under the nose of the EDMC.”
Manilal Valliyate, also a member of Delhi Slaughterhouse Monitoring Committee, said: “Ante-mortem examination was conducted on all animals which were slaughtered. Strangely, all buffaloes which had been brought for slaughter were found to be females, discarded by the dairy industry and many could be pregnant. Pregnancy tests were not being conducted on all animals.”