Egyptian Society of Animal Friends Islamic Conference - 2008
This conference recognizes that all animals are sentient beings and that we should treat them with compassion throughout their lives until the point of death.
Recognising that in the Islamic world, similar to everywhere else, there is widespread cruelty to animals in general and particularly during transport and slaughter.
Recognising that some of the practises during the transport of animals cause great discomfort and even death, this occurring in both long distance transport such as by boat, road or air and during shorter trips. Examples of such abuse, transporting animals in overcrowded trucks with no protection against the natural elements, tying animals on the roof rack and transporting them in the boots of cars are fundamentally against the compassionate rules defined by Islam,
Recognising that some of the practises in slaughterhouses all around the Islamic world, such as slashing the tendons and stabbing the eyes to incapacitate bovines, dragging, kicking or pulling animals by the horns and by the fleece are fundamentally against the compassionate rules defined by Islam,
Recognising the existence of a fatwa by the Chief Imam and Sheikh of Al-Ahzar Dr. Muhammad Sayed Tantawi of April 24, 2008 saying that kindness and mercy to animals should be shown during slaughter and all the situations in which the mercy is necessary such as transport,
Recognising that farm animals, including poultry, are sentient beings that are capable of suffering and referring to the Hadith which says “It is a great sin for a man to imprison those animals which are in his power” (Muslim),
The Conference recommends that the conditions of transport, slaughter and keeping of farm animals in the Islamic world should be brought in line with the original teachings in the Quran and Hadiths,
We call on the Egyptian authorities to take urgent action to improve the conditions in Egypt’s slaughterhouses by ensuring:
1. Transport of animals for slaughter in a way that causes minimum discomfort and pain to the animals. The duration of transport should be as short as possible and according to prescribed OIE Guidelines. The present system of carrying animals in open, overcrowded trucks, in the boots or on roof racks of cars, etc. should be stopped.
2. The holding of animals prior to slaughter should be for a minimum time and lairage should be provided with shade and clean water, in addition animals held for longer then twelve hours must be fed. At no time should animals be caged or tied.
3. Restraining of animals prior to slaughter should be done with compassion. Practises such as beating, goading, kicking or dragging that inflict stress, pain or injury to the animals should be avoided. Practises such as slashing the tendons or blinding the animals to restrain the animals should be stopped.
4. At slaughter the animal should be handled with compassion. The slaughter should be done in a quick and efficient way as to cause minimum pain and suffering before the animal dies. No animal should be slaughtered in front of another animal. Animals should be slaughtered with knives that are of an appropriate size and properly sharpened. Sufficient time should be allowed for the animal to die before de-skinning.
5. Animals, including poultry, should not be kept in overly restrictive cages. They should be kept with sufficient space to carry out their natural behaviour. They should not be bred to grow so fast or for such high yields that their health and welfare are harmed.
6- Slaughterhouse staff should be trained to carry out their work with full respect of the Islamic teachings and in compliance with OIE guidelines
7- Legislation to protect the welfare of animal should be improved through revision, of the old statutes for inclusion in the recently enacted agriculture law.
8-That the media are encouraged and requested to give due importance to all animal welfare issues.
9- To raise the standards of all government vets employed specifically slaughterhouses vets by:
a) Ensuring that they are able to perform their duties adequately.
b) To raise their standard of living
The conference recognising that animal welfare is an issue of global importance that to be adequately addressed needs the commitment of nations, recommends that the Egyptian Government supports the Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare, and adds its endorsement to the initiative.
Ahmed El Sherbiny Chairperson
The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends
The Egyptian Federation for Animal Welfare
These recommendations do not contradict, but comply with the Islamic doctrine and have been approved by members Al Azhar institute, which consists of :
1) Dr. Abdullah Al Nagar Professor of Shari’a and Law- Al Azhar University. Member of the Islamic Research League Member of International Fiqh Academy- Jeddah
2) Honorable Sheik/ Ali Abdul Baky- General Secretary of the Islamic Research League
2) Honorable Sheik/ Fawzy El Zefzaf – Former Deputy to Al Azha
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