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December 13, 1985 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-12-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

32

Friday, December 13, 1985 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS



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London — A government
advisory council has joined sev-
eral British animal rights
groups who are advocating laws
against the religious slaughter
of farm animals, which the
groups claim is cold-blooded
murder.
The debate has implications
not only for the Jewish and
Muslim communities in
England, but also for the
thousands of people in the Mid-
dle East who eat meat imported
from the religious
slaughterhouses in Britain.
The argument centers on
whether an animal should be
rendered unconscious before it is
slaughtered, something that
neither the slaughterhouses
which practice shechita (Jewish
ritual slaughter) or halal
(slaughter in accordance with
the laws of Islam) do.
A 1974 Britisn law requires
that an animal be stunned into
unconsciousness before slaugh-
ter unless it is killed instantly
by a method such as electrocu-
tion. Certified Jewish and Mus-
lim slaughterers are exempted
from the law however.
The Farm Animal Welfare
Council contends that an animal
suffers less pain if it is uncon-
scious when slaughtered. The
government unit cites published
evidence that an animal can
take as long as six minutes to
die if its throat is cut while it is
still conscious.
Animal welfare groups, of
which there are many in
England, are also pushing for a

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change in current laws. "Per-
haps we have a peculiar quirk of
being very sentimental about
animals," John Douglass, man-
ager of the farm animals group
for the Royal Society of Preven-
tion of Cruelty to Animals said
recently. "But there is nothing
sentimental when I go to a
slaughterhouse; neither is there
when I go to a religious
slaughterhouse. Of the two, I
prefer the non-religious
slaughterhouse."
But leaders in the Jewish and
Muslim communities in Britain
contend that their methods are
indeed more humane than those
practiced by non-religious
slaughterhouses. Although the
laws of shechita and halal differ
in many respects, they share a
common basis- — only an un-
blemished animal may be
slaughtered, it must be killed
swiftly and painlessly and no
blood may be consumed.
"Our method is the best. Why
can't they understand this?"
Syed Pasha, general secretary of
the Union of Moslem Organiza-
tions said.

Writer Retires

New York (JTA) — Ben Gal-
lob is retiring this month from
the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
after 29 years of service.
Gallob will continue his asso-
ciation with the JTA as a col-
umnist.

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