Current Affairs
Why is hunting OK, but the halal method not?

Following the interview on TVM with the Imam Mohammad Elsadi on the killing of animals using the Muslim ritual known as halal, this newsroom continued to report on this issue.

It is not excluded that the practice of slaughtering animals using the halal method, although it is not being done at the slaughterhouse, is being done at private locations.

Meanwhile, an academic who has studied Muslim culture told Television Malta that the reaction of many Maltese towards the Imam. clashes with Maltese values.

Anthropologist Ranier Fsadni, who has carried out a lot of research into the Islamic world, said that the reaction of a lot of Maltese towards the Imam who expressed his wish that Maltese authorities will start allowing the slaughter of animals according to the Muslim tradition shows a lack of tolerance.

“You do not send someone who is a Maltese citizen out of the country or tell Maltese Muslims, of whom we have several, and tell them that this is not their country or that they are second-class citizens. That goes against Maltese values,” Mr Fsadni pointed out.

Mr Fsadni added that the practice of halal, which is also used by Jews in the kosher method, requires the animal to still be alive but not stunned before it is killed. “The problem is that sometimes instead of stunning the animal, it would have died so you do not know whether it died before being stunned or not. So there are various methods. For example, in some European countries such as Austria and Finland, they stun the animal immediately after they slit its throat to reduce its suffering.”

The anthropologist said that a derogation on halal, as requested by Imam Elsadi, is no different from other derogations. “I am personally in favour of responsible hunting and religious derogations, although if we find a different way of addressing the suffering of animals I would be in favour.  I think I would be contradicting myself if I were in favour of hunting but against this derogation.”

Meanwhile, following reports received by Television Malta that the halal method was being carried out privately and not at the slaughterhouse, we asked the Directorate of Environmental Health whether it had received similar reports.

“Over the last five years, we had around 24 cases of illegal animal slaughter.reported to the Directorate.  This mostly consisted of rabbits and lambs, and we obviously investigated them individually to confirm them. Sometimes in people’s homes, it is difficult to go and find someone killing an animal there and then, so we would need more time to investigate and confirm this type of abuse,” explained Clive Tonna, Director of Environmental Health.

Mr Tonna added that the majority of these reports were made against foreigners. “You have neighbours who report seeing certain activities at a location. We obviously go to the residence with the Police, and if it is proved, then the necessary steps are taken.”

He said that when the slaughter of animals is carried out in non-authorised places, there is a lack of hygiene which could be to the detriment of those who eat from this meat.

See also:

Imam appeals for animals at slaughter house to be killed using Muslim method

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