ANSA the Association of Non-Stun Abattoirs is dismayed by a recent video posted on the web that shows animals supposedly being stunned reversibly. This document simply gives the equipment conditions without further comment. Upon an investigation that required the use of the Freedom of Information Act with Bristol University, ANSA was able to learn that Cargill, a major supplier of poultry to McDonalds had covertly paid for this Halal recovery trial in Spain that occurred on the 8th of January 2014. The trial was led by the Halal Food Authority (HFA) with the presence of the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence and carried out by two academics from the University of Bristol, whose names have not yet been given to us.
Cargill Meats Europe is a major supplier of Halal meat in the UK and overseas as well as imported meats from within Europe, Thailand and Brazil. Focused primarily on poultry products, the business supplies customer-branded chicken and further-processed poultry products to U.K. retail chains, the quick-service food industry and food manufacturers in Europe.
‘Cargill began in 1865, they claim that the business was founded on the belief that “our word is our bond.” They claim to be a ‘diversified global company still grounded in a culture of trust and respect, this remains the standard by which we do business. We operate with integrity and accountability. We are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way.’
By covertly carrying out this trial, Cargill demonstrates a lack of respect for the Muslim consumer. How can anyone trust a company that operates in this unethical manner without consulting the broader Muslim community but solely working with two Muslim certifying agencies whose standards have recently been questioned by the Muslim community over the permissibility of the methods they endorse as halal.
Following the finding of pork in halal pies last year that were certified as Halal by HFA, this new tactic of HFA and Cargill behind closed doors casts further doubt on these organisations respect for and ability to properly serve the Muslim community.. The collection of organisations behind this trial have profitability at the forefront of their plans. From March 2014, the changes in the requirements of the Muslim community will mean that pre-stunning and machine slaughter methods to produce halal poultry will not be able to meet the shariah requirement of the UK Muslim community. For Halal slaughter, the bird/animal must be alive at the time of slaughter, the prayer must be recited over each bird/animal which are two critical factors that can fail with the use of pre-stunning and machine slaughter methods. This is why there are grave concerns raised over the permissibility of such methods. These experiments done in secrecy without proper involvement of the Muslim community seem geared to misleading Muslim consumers into believing something maybe Halal.
The people who attended the covert halal trial on 8 January in Spain;
Technical Director, Cargill
Technical Manager, Cargill
Head Slaughterman, Cargill
Three members of the Halal Food Authority (including Chief Executive)
Three members of the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence
Two academics from University of Bristol
Two members of IRTA:
The Muslim community is outraged by this covert and unprofessional procedures that interfere with the basic religious requirements of both Muslims and Jews who are legally exempt from stunning; putting profits before respect for consumers who are believing they are buying something that may not in fact be Halal.