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HMC exposes the corrupt practices found in the ‘Halal’ meat industry highlighting the potential dangers for Muslim consumers who freely buy meat and poultry from non certified sources and which necessitated the formation of HMC. What is even more worrying is that despite many slaughter – conditions being violated, the consumables are falsely labelled as ‘Halal’ and consumers are led to believe that they are genuinely Halal whereas in many cases the consumables would be Haram!
We can divide the industry into four areas:
Many Muslims who originate from the Indian sub continent, Africa or Arab countries naively think that all meat and poultry is slaughtered in a simple manner which they saw practised in the countries they came from. What we have failed to realise is the demand for Halal meat and poultry has dramatically increased in the west and the companies supplying the meat and poultry have had to look for ways to increase the output. This has meant finding quicker ways of slaying the animals and at the same time keeping within the Halal laws. With this proving difficult, many slaughterhouses have looked for shortcuts in the Halal rules, many disregard the Halal slaughter prerequisites and many have no knowledge of the prerequisites whilst the main aim has become the increase of production and its returns. The corrupt and non-islamic practices prevalent within slaughterhouses supplying to the Halal market are as follows:
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A large amount of meat and poultry slaughtered in the abattoirs is then passed on to the processing plants. The processing plants can range from processing, cutting, de-boning to preparing ready made meals and preparing frozen packed or canned consumables. In our experience many of the processing plants are not very particular in verifying the methods of slaughter and are accommodating any meat or poultry which is labelled Halal whether from the U.K or abroad. This is leading to problems similar to those at the abattoirs where verification of the halalness of the products is very difficult. In fact, although sometimes the processing plants may be unaware of the source, some are deliberately sourcing from Haram. The other issue is anonymous meat and poultry imported from around the world labelled Halal is entering the market without the importers even knowing what slaughter methods are being used. Many of these when scrutinized and checked do not even come close to being Halal.
The butchers and outlets receiving the meat and poultry from the abattoirs and processing plants are just as negligent in verifying their sourcing as the rest of the chain above. Many of them are genuinely unaware of the problematic industry and they would merely place the trust in and take the word of the supplier just because it is claimed to be Halal.
The only way to help Muslim consumers make an informed choice and help them consume genuine Halal meat and poultry was to introduce a certification system which covers all the chain from source to outlet. There have been quite a few attempts in the past and currently to certify this problematic industry. The sad thing is that some of the systems put in place by a number of certifying bodies are very weak and have only increased the problem. Some organisations issue Halal certificates for life, others issue Halal certificates over the phone, other abattoirs are inspected once a year and issued a Halal certificate, and other certifiers do not even have knowledge of what are the correct standards for Halal. Sadly, stunned and mechanically slaughtered meat and poultry is also being certified by various bodies in the UK.
The above problems highlighted lead to the biggest dilemma of all, Muslim consumers buying meat, poultry, kebabs, samosas or anything else labelled as Halal from butchers, takeaways, or restaurants are not and can not be certain about the genuineness and authenticity of the Halal label, either through ignorance in the chain of suppliers or either through unscrupulous, deceitful, corrupt and greedy meat traders.
In conclusion, the word Halal has become the most abused word equally misused by Muslims and non Muslims. The word ‘Halal’ is displayed anywhere and everywhere without any kind of regulation and corroboration and the consumers are made to believe that it is genuinely Halal.
The questions we leave you with are:
Let’s clean up the Halal industry!
This state of affairs urgently dictated that a committee be setup which monitored every phase of the processing of meat and poultry to ensure their suitability for the Muslim market.