Organisation - November 5, 2010

‘Stun animals before slaughter’

Who? Bert Lambooij
What? International authority in the field of animal-friendly slaughter methods, and working at Wageningen UR Livestock Research
Why? Wrote a report for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality saying that halal ritual slaughter without stunning the animals is painful for them

Is that a surprising conclusion or a predictable one?
'It's predictable, because research had already been done in New Zealand. What I established is that if the animal's throat is cut, it is conscious for another 80 seconds or so, and if it is stunned, only for four seconds. The New Zealand research showed that the animal experiences pain during that time. So my advice is: stun the animals.'

Will that advice be followed?
'There are branches of Islam that do not accept stunning. Some groups use a stunner after cutting the animal's throat, and that is more animal-friendly than only cutting the throat. Others allow electrical stunning before throat-cutting. The Koran is interpreted in different ways on this point.'
Will the ministry adopt your conclusions?
'It remains to be seen whether the ministry will make stunning compulsory.'