Muslims talk animal welfare

2010-03-18 00:00

PROMINENT members of the Muslim community gathered at the Small Enterprise and Development Agency in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to discuss animal welfare issues.

India’s Dr Abdul Rahman is in the country addressing issues of animal welfare from the perspective of developing countries.

He showed the delegation photographs of mistreated animals before they were slaughtered for their meat. Pictures showed goats tied together and left without water in the midday heat, cows being burned with cigarettes and sheep being skinned before they had actually died.

“No religion teaches us to do what we are doing to our animals,” Rahman said.

He described how milkers are pressured to produce 25 to 30 litres of milk. “That cow will have to walk around with its udder almost touching the floor. We don’t want to think about it; we just want a good glass of milk. Where I am from, most men in slaughter houses are Muslim, yet the atrocities against these animals are against the principals of Islam.”

Farouk Abdul, who is prominent in the Pietermaritzburg agriculture sector, said meat is often certified as halaal when proper processes have not been followed.

“There are many verses in the Koran about the proper treatment of animals. An animal should not watch another being killed, yet this seldom happens. Animals feel stress and pain,” he said.

“According to Islam, caging an animal [unnecessarily] is a sin.” He went on to show pictures of broiler chickens stuffed tightly in cages with no space to move.

Rahman said the situation is not beyond redemption. By 2018 there will be no battery-caged birds in Europe. “We must not underestimate the power of the public,” he said. “If NGOs join together, we can achieve any objective.”

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