What is Stunning?
In the context of animal slaughter for meat production, “stunning” refers to the practice of rendering an animal unconscious or insensible to pain before it is slaughtered. This is done to minimize the suffering of the animal during the slaughtering process.
There are different methods of stunning, and they can be broadly categorized as either reversible or irreversible.
STUNNING IN CHICKEN
In common industry practice, chickens frequently experience stunning using either electrical or gas methods. In electrical water bath stunning, chickens are hung upside down on shackles and their heads are submerged into electrified water, inducing unconsciousness. Gas stunning employs gases like carbon dioxide to limit the chicken's ability to breathe, resulting in loss of consciousness. The unconscious chicken is then processed for slaughter, either through machine cutting or hand cutting methods.
- Purpose: Reversible stunning aims to render the animal unconscious temporarily, allowing it to recover consciousness if not slaughtered promptly.
- Methods: Common methods include electrical stunning, captive bolt stunning, and gas stunning. These methods are designed to induce unconsciousness without causing immediate death.
- Purpose: Irreversible stunning is intended to cause immediate and irreversible loss of consciousness, leading to the death of the animal.
- Methods: Various methods fall into this category, such as using firearms, penetrating captive bolts, or exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide.
WHY REVESIBLE STUNNING IS MISLEADING
The term “reversible stunning” is viewed as misleading because, in some cases, it implies that the stunning process is temporary, and the animal regains consciousness before slaughter. However, any form of stunning, even if reversible, compromises the halal status of the meat.
In reversible stunning process, when the animal is stunned, shot or shocked the animal that is weak dies instantly while the strong ones get back up but cannot sustain the pain and die very painfully.
It’s essential to note that opinions on this matter can vary among Islamic scholars and different Muslim communities. Some accept reversible stunning as long as the animal is alive (again misleading) at the time of slaughter.
In summary, “reversible stunning” is a term invented to mislead the Muslim Ummah as it compromises the traditional method of halal slaughter, where the animal is slaughtered without any form of stunning to ensure it is fully conscious at the time of slaughter.
In the light of this matter, it is recommended that an animal is slaughtered properly using the Islamic slaughtering method (HAND ZABIHA HALAL) because it is the very least painful technique used for slaughtering.
It is narrated in Surah al-Maidah Ayat number 3:
Forbidden to you are carrion, blood, and swine; what is slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah; what is killed by strangling, beating, a fall, or by being gored to death; what is partly eaten by a predator unless you slaughter it; and what is sacrificed on altars. You are also forbidden to draw lots for decisions.1 This is all evil. Today the disbelievers have given up all hope of ˹undermining˺ your faith. So do not fear them; fear Me! Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My Favour upon you, and chosen Islam as your way. But whoever is compelled by extreme hunger—not intending to sin—then surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.