Halal meat has had a lot of bad press in the past few years, mainly due to the misunderstanding of what Halal actually is.
Most news you may have read about referring to Halal will be centred around Halal meat. Yet Halal actually refers to anything that is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law. There are a number of foods which are not allowed by Islamic law; pork being the most well-known. They also cannot consume blood or intoxicants such as alcohol.
A lot of people misunderstand what makes meat Halal:
The way an animal is killed is also a factor to the meat being halal: the animal must be healthy, the butcher must make a recitation to God, and the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe must be cut with a single swipe of a sharp knife. This method means the animal dies immediately and is completely drained of blood.
It is this method of slaughter which has been seen as controversial amongst animal rights activists, as they claim that the slaughter causes pain, and is an inhumane way of slaughtering animals for meat.
A lot of the controversy stems from the notion that animals are not stunned before they are slaughtered – as they are in other modern-day meat processes. In fact, according to an RSPCA fact sheet, 90% of animals killed for Halal food were initially stunned before being slaughtered.
A method, described as sinister amongst British tabloid newspapers, is in fact no different from the way meat has been slaughtered in the UK for years. The RSPCA and leading experts all agree that better labelling is more of a concern regarding Halal meat in the UK. As well as clear labelling for any Halal restaurant. Manchester based Royal Nawaab’s menu is made using the finest Halal ingredients.