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Halal slaughtering, welfare, and empathy in farm animals: a review

Khan, Rajwali, Guo, Hongfang, Raza, Sayed Haidar Abbas, Rahman, Abdur, Ayaz, Muhammad, Linsen, Zan
Tropical animal health and production 2018 v.50 no.8 pp. 1733-1738
Muslims, animal welfare, fearfulness, guidelines, laws and regulations, livestock, pheromones, slaughter, slaughterhouses, smell
Pre-slaughter and slaughter stressors are considered major concerns in animal welfare. Halal slaughtering method is considered one of the slaughtering stressors in livestock. This method seems to cause fear followed by stress in animals mainly due to inhuman handling. In this review, empathy and animal welfare are discussed in light of Islamic sharia and has further linked with animal’s physiology and behavioral responses during slaughtering. Islam as a religion forbids slaughtering an animal in front of another animal as through optic, olfactory, and cochlear senses animals can perceive the stress state of conspecifics. This suggests and strengthens the hypothesis that animals being slaughtered in front of each other may produce stress in them. This argument further leads to a claim that animals can experience empathy of each other through olfaction of semiochemicals (stress pheromones) emitted from animals slaughtered in the stressful condition that can be detected by other animals in abattoirs. Hence, research is needed to find out these specific stress pheromones and legislation needs to be adopted in slaughterhouses to isolate the areas of butchery from slaughtering lines to ensure proper guidelines of Halal slaughtering in slaughterhouses.