Is there such a thing as humane killing?

Either from squeamishness or self-preservation, I have not followed Ghita’s sheep to market and beyond. I’m a meat-eater but I don’t like the fact that animals suffer on their way to my stomach. Up until the Arab spring, Romania was exporting thousands of live lambs to the Middle East, and the region was one of their sheep farmers’ largest sources of income. Casting around for support I came across Kate Humble’s tv series Wild Shepherdess which highlighted some of the horrifying treatment that sheep have to face – of course they’re not the only species oppressed in this way – and that led me to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). PETA is running a campaign against the live transportation of Australian sheep for slaughter in the Middle East.  It has implications for everyone who breeds animals for consumption abroad, including farmers in Britain and Romania, where the EU’s humane legislation is often ignored.  I don’t want this blog to become a trumpet for other people’s causes but as with the Rosia Montana gold mine protest, this campaign lies close to my heart.  I’ve pasted the following text from PETA’s website:

Urge the Australian Minister for Agriculture to End Live Export
Over the last 30 years, Australia has exported more than 200 million living animals to Middle Eastern countries that have no laws in place to protect them. During the grueling trip across the Indian Ocean, more than 2.5 million of these animals have been trampled to death or have died from dehydration, starvation, or disease. PETA Australia has protested in the Middle East and met with local activists to educate them about the cruel journey, but we need your help.
Animals Australia visited Kuwait during Eid al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice). More than 800,000 Australian sheep were sent to the Middle East for Eid al-Adha in a single year. The abuse that Animals Australia exposed adds to what PETA, PETA Asia-Pacific, and other groups have uncovered in the past.
Investigators observed that sheep were dragged by their legs despite signs that were posted overhead instructing handlers not to do so. Inexperienced workers cut sheep’s throats—while the animals were still conscious—with blunt or inappropriate knives. According to one investigator, “Australian sheep were being purchased, bound with wire and shoved into car [trunks] whilst others were being dragged terrified on their stomachs towards filthy slaughter areas on the side of roads where they waited amongst the dead and dying to have their throats cut.”
Much of the treatment that investigators observed is contrary to Islamic teaching and runs contrary to World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines for the handling, transport, and slaughter of animals.
Please urge Australia’s minister for agriculture, Joe Ludwig, to end live export now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s