16 Jul 2013 07:54

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) -- Halal slaughter of animals can help prevent infectious diseases, which is why the practice is popular even among non-Muslims, experts opined.

According to a statement issued by the Halal Middle East 2013, studies have shown that halal slaughter protects consumers from many diseases, which cannot be prevented by conventional slaughter methods used in many countries. Dr Ibrahim Hussein Ahmed Abd El Rahim, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca, said the way an animal is slaughtered affects human health and safety and quality of the meat.

"Halal slaughter involves the cutting of jugular veins, throat, and oesophagus of an animal, after which blood is drained from the animal’s body. This prevents the growth and multiplication of harmful micro-organisms," he said.

He was quoted as saying this in the statement issued in conjunction with the Halal Congress Middle East which will be held at the Expo Centre Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Dec 16 to 18. The second Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Halal Middle East exhibition will also be held at the same place and time.

The professor said that the neck of an animal should not be separated from the rest of the body during the slaughter. When the neck is intact, all the blood will be drained from the animal’s body, and then, the bleeding process will be completed.

"Blood is a typical medium for the proliferation of different kinds of microbes; therefore, blood should be drained from an animal’s body to protect consumers from infectious diseases," he said.

According to the statement, the rising acceptance of halal meat due to the scientific reasoning behind the slaughter process and its hygienic nature is spicing up the US$600 billion global halal meat market impressively.

Globally, the halal market that spans from food to finance and tourism is worth US$3 trillion, and close to two billion consumers purchase halal products worldwide, with a 20 percent growth annually, the statement said. Dr Ibrahim, together with other halal experts, will participate in the Halal Congress, where details of the halal concept and the scientific reasoning behind it will be discussed during the three-day event. Speakers will throw light on stunning, mechanical slaughtering, 'tasmiah' (naming process), and animal feed.

Malaysia's Halal Certification Authority Jakim, the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries, Emirates Standards & Metrology Authority of UAE, National Accreditation Council-Pakistan, Majlis Ulema-Indonesia (MUI), and Halal Science Centre-Thailand will be attending the Halal Congress Middle East. -- BERNAMA