Das Schlachten von Nutztieren

(part 1 of 4): The Islamic Method of Slaughtering


Although less complex and sensitive than the Jewish kashrut or Jewish food laws, Islam sets certain rules and laws for food. All regulations dealing with this worldly life in Islam are based on orders that maximize the benefits and reduce harm, and if the harm of a thing outweighs the benefits that could be derived from it, it is generally forbidden in Islam. God says:

“They ask you about intoxicating and gambling. Say: „There is great evil and benefit to people in both. But their evil is greater than their benefit …“ (Quran 2: 219)

For this reason, Islam has prescribed certain rites for slaughtering animals in order to benefit from their flesh, and these regulations have been enacted to avoid the harm they can do if you do not stick to them; Most are about health, as is relieving the pain the animal is experiencing.

The Islamic method of slaughter

One of the main rules for allowing meat to be allowed is that it must be slaughtered according to the rules of religion. Any animal that has died of natural causes is strangled, strangled by a brutal blow, a fall on the head, pierced by horns and what has been partially eaten by wild animals. For it to be allowed to be consumed, however, it must have been slaughtered by a cut through the neck that cuts through the trachea, esophagus, jugular veins and carotid arteries without hitting the spinal cord.

This method is actually the most human way of killing an animal to use its meat. This is also a method that the United States Congress agreed to, as in Section 1901 and 1902 (b), Chapter 48, Title 7, where the following is written:

Congress believes that the use of humane methods in the slaughter of livestock saves useless suffering; this results in safer and better working conditions for people involved in the slaughter; an improvement in slaughter products and economy; and it provides other benefits to producers, processors, and consumers who strive to provide an orderly flow of livestock and livestock products to domestic and foreign trade. It is therefore the declared aim of the United States that the slaughter of livestock and the handling of livestock in connection with slaughter should only be done using humane methods.

No method of slaughter or handling of livestock in connection with slaughter may be considered a public goal of the United States unless it is humane. One of the following two methods of slaughter and handling is hereby considered human:

(a) in the case of cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, pigs and other livestock, all animals should be shot or fired by a single shot, or by an electric, chemical or other means that is quick and effective, insensitive to pain before being tied up, hoisted, thrown, gutted or cut, or (b) by slaughtering according to the ritual requirements of Jewish or any other religious belief that prescribe a method of slaughter in which the animal suffers loss of consciousness from brain anemia, caused by simultaneous and immediate cutting of the carotid arteries with a sharp tool and handling in Association with such slaughter. [1]

As can be seen above, this method of slaughter ensures that the animal feels as little pain as possible and at the same time makes the meat safe for consumption. The rapid severing of the blood vessels in the neck interrupts the connection of blood flow to the nerves in the brain, which are responsible for the sensation of pain, and therefore the animal does not feel pain. The movements and sounds that the animal may make after the cut are not due to the pain, but due to tension and relaxation of the muscles due to the lack of blood. These movements are also essential to ensure that as much blood as possible escapes from the body, which is very important to clean the meat, because remaining blood is a medium in which microorganisms multiply, and the meat stays fresh for longer. It is also essential that the trachea, esophagus, and jugular veins are cut in conjunction with the carotid arteries, which ensures rapid blood flow from the system. However, cutting the spinal cord could result in cardiac arrest, which would result in blood stagnation in the blood vessels due to damage to the nerve strands that lead to the heart.

Does the animal feel pain with this method?

A study entitled Attempts to Objectify Pain and Consciousness in Conventional (captive bolt pistol stunning) and Ritual (halal, knife) Methods of Slaughtering Sheep and Calves‘ (attempts, pain and consciousness in conventional (nail gun) and ritual (halal, knife ) To objectify the method of slaughtering sheep and calves), carried out by Professor Wilhelm Schulze and his colleague Hazim from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover, Germany, various electrodes were implanted at different points on the skull of all animals that touched the surface of the brain. After the animals had recovered for several weeks, some animals were slaughtered in the Islamic way, as mentioned earlier by severing the trachea, esophagus, jugular veins and carotid arteries. Other animals were anesthetized before slaughter. During the experiment, an electroencephalograph (EEG) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) reported the state of the brain and heart of all animals in the course of slaughter and stunning. The following results have been reported:

1. The first three seconds of Islamic slaughter showed no changes on the EEG, which shows that the animal felt no pain during or immediately after the cut.

2. In the following three seconds, the EEG reported a state of deep sleep – loss of consciousness. This is because of the large amount of blood that flows out of the body.

3. After the six seconds mentioned above, the EEG reported the zero point, showing that there was no feeling of pain.

4. When the brain flow (EEG) dropped to zero, the heart was still beating and the body twitched vigorously (a reflex of the spinal cord), which drove a maximum amount of blood out of the body, resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.


[1] (http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode07/usc_sec_07_00001901—-000-.html)


(part 2 of 4): Modern slaughter

techniques Modern stunning techniques before slaughter

critics The Islamic and similarly the Jewish procedure for slaughtering animals combats the fact that 1902 (a) was not introduced, but was only called on a voluntary basis to anesthetize animals before their throats are cut. This was due to the claim that the anesthetic would make the animal insensitive to pain, although the preferred view is that the animal is easier to control in factory-like large slaughterhouses.

Some modern anesthetic methods are as follows:

Mechanical Methods:

Bolt Shot Gun (CBP): This stunning method is used for all cattle and rabbits. Black powder (cartridge), compressed air and tension drive bolts through the animal’s skull. This type of stunning is common for all types of animals. The species is called ´captive´ in English because the bolt is shot out of the cylinder but remains on the pistol.

Concussion anesthetic. A mechanically working instrument sends a shock to the brain and shakes the brain. Used for cattle, sheep, calves and rabbits.

Free floors. Used for animals that are difficult to tame, such as wild boar, bison, game, horses or in emergencies.

After stunning, the animals can be slaughtered, which includes inserting a (plastic or) metal rod into the cavity caused by the bolt to destroy the lower part of the brain and the upper spinal cord („spinal cord destroyer“ since Banned in EU in 2001). In all of these methods, the loss of consciousness is caused either by penetration into the skull causing damage to the brain, or by a hitting blow to the brain without penetration. After anesthesia, the animal is stung, which disrupts the blood supply to the brain. When the animals are stunned and stabbed, they are left to bleed to death. Industry requires the heart to continue beating as long as possible to ensure that as much blood as possible escapes from the flesh and blood vessels. This obviously preserves the quality of the meat and increases its shelf life.

Electric anesthetic

Anesthetic only on the head: cattle, sheep, goats and ostriches are anesthetized with this method. With this method, electric pliers are placed on both sides of the animal’s head. Then electric current is flowed through the brain and this will probably lead to a temporary loss of consciousness.

Cardiac arrest anesthetic: Used for cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits and goats. An electrical current is passed through both the head and body to bridge the brain and heart at the same time, or is conducted first through the head and then through the chest, or through the head and body at the same time.

Water bath stunning: This is a common stunning method for chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks. With this method, the birds are hung upside down on a conveyor belt that transports them to the electric water bath. Birds‘ heads are usually immersed in this water, which causes an electric shock. In recent years, the strength of the electrical current has been increased to ensure that the birds die of cardiac arrest.


Birds can also be stunned using CO2 and argon gas while in their crates. Pigs are also gassed with CO2.


This method sticks a knife in the animal’s throat or neck, causing brain death due to the rapid loss of blood in the brain.

Does the animal feel pain with this method?

Studies have shown that stunning the animal with the techniques mentioned causes unnecessary suffering to the animals. As far as the technique with the bolt gun (CBP) is concerned, a study at the German university showed the following results for the anesthetized animals:

1. The animals were apparently passed out soon after the anesthetic.

2. The EEG showed severe pain immediately after anesthesia.

3. The hearts of the animals anesthetized with CBP stopped beating earlier compared to the animals slaughtered according to the Halal method, with the result that a larger amount of blood is left in the meat. This in turn is unsanitary for the consumer.

Although the animals were passed out, they felt the intense pain from the anesthetic, a factor that is not seen in the Islamic way.

(part 3 of 4): The Islamic regulation regarding stunning (1)
Although there is no particular ban in Islam for stunning the animal before slaughtering, according to certain studies it is clear that it is always best for the following reasons: not to numb.



Islam is a religion that calls on its followers to show mercy to all of creation. It prohibits unnecessary harm to animals. Even when slaughtering because the Prophet said,
„And when you slaughter, slaughter in the most perfect way.“ (Sahieh Muslim)

He ordered that you sharpen your knife before slaughter.

„Sharpen your knives so that you make it easy for the animal to be slaughtered.“ (Sahieh Muslim)

The pinnacle of grace and compassion for the animals is that he said that you should never sharpen your knives in their presence and no animal should be slaughtered in the presence of other animals.
„He ordered us to sharpen our knives and [slaughter] out of sight of the animals.“ (Ahmad)

In another report:

“The Prophet, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, passed a man who was sharpening his knife while his foot was on the side of a sheep (and holding it on the ground) and he was watching him up. The Prophet said, ‚Couldn’t you have done that before? You want to kill it many times. ‚”[1] (al-Mundhiri)

In order to be effective, stunning with the bolt gun must be performed by well-trained personnel and a special cartridge size must be used. If this is not the case or if the pistol is not correctly positioned, the animal suffers the pain for the wrong shot, and then the pain for a new shot, or the alleged pain (although this is not true), stabbed to consciousness become. If the animal were slaughtered without a bolt shot, it would have little or no pain. In a 1996 report, the Scientific Committee of the European Commission said that: „5 to 10% of cattle use the nail gun incorrectly,“ which, according to VIVA (Vegetarian International Voice for Animals), corresponds to 230,000 cattle in the UK alone. FAWC (Farm Animal Welfare association) reports: “During our visits to slaughterhouses, we regularly checked the side of the bolt entry on animal skulls. In our opinion, there are far too many cases where the bullet did not hit the recommended position or near it, and there are also indications of a significant number of double shots (meaning that the first shot apparently missed its intended target). ”

The same can be said for the stun using electric shock. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says: „There is increasing scientific evidence that some animals that are electronically anesthetized with forceps regain consciousness before they die of blood loss.“ The reasons for this are both ineffective current that flows through the animal’s brain and that the animals regain consciousness when the time between stunning and stabbing exceeds 20 seconds.

With this statement, VIVA explains that the anesthetic with an electric shock only lasts between 20 and 40 seconds on the head, while the interval between anesthetic and stabbing the sheep lasts 70 seconds. This means that there are about 5 million sheep that regain consciousness after being electrically anesthetized before dying from blood loss.

Research at Bristol University has also shown that sheep may not be able to feel pain after an electric shock; however, they experience periods of full awareness. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the loss of consciousness occurs immediately and that some people like the neurophysiologist Dr. Harold Hilman believes that stunning is extremely painful, pointing out that electrocution is used as a torture method in some countries. The animals cannot express this pain by screaming or moving because the electric shock paralyzes them.

Ineffective anesthetics also occur when stunning in a water bath, especially ducks and geese, because they tend to raise their heads when they come into the water bath and their heads are not completely immersed in the water. Another problem with this method is that although the goal of this method is to induce cardiac arrest, „many birds are not properly anesthetized and regain consciousness before slaughter,“ according to the RSPCA. This is also the case with stinging, because the animals can regain consciousness before death.

The pain that every living being feels through suffocation, as is the case with gasification, is clear to everyone and does not need to be described here.

What can be observed is that although these methods are intended to reduce pain, they actually cause the animal to endure more pain, both through the initial anesthetic and through the following actions when anesthetized was done wrong. This causes the animal unnecessary pain again, which is prohibited in Islam.


[1] That means sharpening the knife in the presence of the animal is just like killing.


(part 4 of 4): The Islamic Anesthetic Regulations (2)


Blood Removal:

It is clear that removing the blood before the animal’s death is essential for the purity of the meat. With the various anesthetic methods, the animal may experience cardiac arrest after anesthesia, either unintentionally, as with head-only anesthesia, or intentionally, as with the electric water bath used to induce cardiac arrest in poultry. The results of the trials at the Veterinary College indicated that the hearts of animals anesthetized by the nail-gun method stopped beating sooner than those of animals that had been slaughtered by the Islamic method, leaving more blood in the flesh. The anesthetic also causes salt and pepper hemorrhage, where the small blood vessels tear and blood leaks into the tissue. All of these techniques result in the blood remaining in the vessels and promoting the growth of microorganisms.

Contamination of the meat

Anesthesia is feared to be a factor in the transmission of mad cow disease to humans, because a research study at Texas A&M University and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found that a method called pneumatic stunning ( which consists of shooting a metal bullet into the cow’s brain with a pulverizing force of 150 pounds), such an explosive force is released that it scattered brain tissue throughout the animal. This news is worrying because the brain tissue and spinal cord are the most infectious parts of an animal with mad cow disease, leading to fatal holes in the brain of the infected animal, which then resembles a Swiss cheese. It’s even more worrying to learn In an experiment conducted by Gregory and Whittington in 1992 and published in Research in Veterinary Science under the title Inhalation of Water During Electrical Stunning in Chickens, it was found that “Chickens can inhale water when they are electrically stunned in a water bath to do. There is no antidote to this at the moment. ” It has also been noted that birds can empty their intestines during stunning, and then live birds can inhale the water contaminated with feces, making their flesh unsanitary because the liquids can leak from the lungs and cause contamination.

Fear of death

In many of these stunning techniques, the animals die before they are slaughtered, either unintentionally, like when using the nail gun and electrical stun on the head, or intentionally, like when gassing. This makes meat illegal for human consumption according to the rules of Islam, because it falls under the category of the dead.



The regulations of religion come from a divine source, the creator of everything that exists; One whose knowledge of His creation is infinite. This fact necessarily indicates that all things that God has established in religion are due to this divine knowledge, and therefore they must be ultimate in every way. If one looks at the rules that the religion of Islam prescribes and recommends, it will be shown that they are indeed the best and most appropriate in all possible circumstances, and that they have a common denominator, have maximum benefit and reduce damage. Some people view the Islamic method of slaughter as cruelty to animals, but reality shows that the opposite is the case.

Is Islamic Slaughtering Cruel to Animals? Dr. Aisha El-Awady
Is Stunning Animals Really Humane? Dr. Aisha El-Awady
Going for the Kill. Juliet Gellatley BSc (Zoology)
Sentenced to Death. Rebecca Smith


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/das-schlachten-von-nutztieren

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