Wspa Condemns Decision To Allow Ritual Slaughter Of Conscious Animals

< BACK TO ANIMALS starstarstarstarstar   Conservation - Animals Press Release
11th November 2009, 01:32pm - Views: 1179

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Further information: Louise Fitzsimons, WSPA Australia Communications Manager

Phone: (02) 9902 8013 / 0414 775 275   Email:

ABN 19 083 297 027

WSPA has joined animal welfare organisations around the world in condemning the

Australian Government’s decision to allow the religious ritual slaughter of conscious

animals to continue in some abattoirs.

Amy Firth, WSPA’s Farm Animals Programme Manager, comments:

“This is a huge step backwards for animal welfare in Australia. Slaughtering an animal whilst it

is fully conscious causes significant pain and distress and should not be allowed under any

circumstance – it has no place in Australia. 

“Commonsense tells us that cutting the throat of an animal whilst it is fully conscious is

inhumane. The science is also clear. The UK Farm Animal Welfare Council (comprised of

scientists and veterinarians) concluded that slitting the throats of animals that are fully

conscious causes ‘significant pain and distress’. Research published in 2009 and carried out

by Massey University in New Zealand, confirmed that animals do feel pain if slaughtered

without prior stunning.  

“The Government’s decision to inflict this suffering on Australian animals is not only cruel, it is

completely unnecessary. Killing without stunning is not even required under Islamic principles,

as a number of fatwas and Islamic authorities have attested. This is also evidenced by the fact

that the vast majority of the Halal meat we export comes from animals that have been stunned

before slaughter.

“Unfortunately, the decision to allow slaughter without stunning is likely to hamper efforts to

have stunning more broadly accepted in the Middle East and could open the floodgates for

other Middle Eastern importers to request non-stunned meat from Australia. With the Middle

East being Australia’s biggest export market, the resulting impact this could have on the

welfare of Australian animals should not be underestimated.

“By allowing ritual slaughter without stunning, federal and state ministers are damaging

Australia's international reputation as a progressive country. We urge the Government to

rethink this decision that will cause Australian animals to suffer unnecessarily. “


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