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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Halal first for island's Muslims
Muslim community at a Jersey poultry farm
There are some 400 Muslims in Jersey
Jersey's 400-strong Muslim community is able to buy fresh meat slaughtered according to the rules of Islam in the island for the first time.

Halal is the name for food and drink allowed for Muslims under Islamic dietary laws and it has been unavailable in the island until now.

Now the meat is being slaughtered by the local imam at a farm in St John.

Dr Alaa Abdelbaky says a prayer for each chicken before it is killed using methods laid down in the Koran.

Suffering concerns

"This is a community which helps each other, so why import meat from outside," said Dr Abdelbaky, a surgeon at Jersey General Hospital.

"Now we can get it from here and help farmers increase the economy of Jersey."

It is not a method without controversy.

In 2003, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, said the way Kosher and Halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals.

It called for an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher [Jewish] and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first, a recommendation which the government did not adopt.

But Christine Joshua, who uses both methods of stunning and not stunning animals at her poultry farm in St John, says there is no difference.

She said: "Both methods are extremely quick, the bird doesn't suffer in either method.

"It's just a preference for how people want their meat to be dispatched."


SEE ALSO
Halal menu 'should appeal to all'
08 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Halal site guides hungry Muslims
16 Dec 04 |  Technology
Farmers urged to go halal
31 Jul 02 |  UK News

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