Halal meat exports — a viable alternative

Islamic leaders have spoken out against cruelty in the live export trade, highlighting that chilled meat exports are widely accepted in importing countries.


LAST UPDATED: 17 March 2016

The export of 'halal'* accredited meat (animals killed in accordance with Muslim requirements) is increasing. In Australia, the vast majority of halal-killed animals are stunned (rendered unconscious) prior to slaughter.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) is appalled by the treatment of Australian animals in the Middle East and equally appalled that the Australian live export industry is trying to convince the Australian public that the region requires live animals, when in fact they can be slaughtered in compliance with Islamic laws in Australia. Click here to read the AFIC release.

* Halal accreditation is administered under the 'Australian Government Supervised Muslim Slaughter Programme'. Source: www.ausmeat.com.au

What is halal slaughter?
Are animals halal-slaughtered in the Middle East?

Key requirements of halal killing — according to the Koran and Islamic leaders — include:

  • not killing animals in the presence of other animals
  • the animals are not to be bound
  • the slaughterman makes a dedication of the animal to 'Allah'
  • the animal being slaughtered must face Mecca
  • the animal should be killed with a single cut to the throat with a long sharp blade, and
  • the animal must not suffer prior to slaughter.

Investigations since 2003 in key Middle East countries which import Australian animals have found that the halal requirements (as listed above) are routinely ignored in each of Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

The economics

Australia exports halal-accredited boxed meat to all relevant countries to which it exports live animals. History has shown — for example in Bahrain — that when live Australian animals are not available, countries shift to importing more Australian boxed meat.

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