Denmark: Muslims want independent body to supervise halal slaughter

Denmark: Muslims want independent body to supervise halal slaughter

Via Kristeligt Dagblad:

The Danish Islamic Faith Society and 35 other Muslim associations joined together to stop what they say is non-halal meat sold as halal. They want to create an independent organ to supervise halal slaughter.

"Some of the methods used in slaughter are not halal, and the supervision of halal slaughter is too lenient," says Ben Yones Essabar, head of the Islamic Faith Society's Halal Committee.

Slaughterhouses must be approved before they can sell halal meat. The Islamic Culture Center (IKC) had until now issued the halal certificates. But according to the Islamic Faith Society, several cattle slaughterhouses have had their halal certificates renewed for years despite the fact that they've used stun-bolt guns to stun the animals. The IKC recently withdrew permission to use stun-bolt guns.

Ben Yones Essabar says that the news caused insecurity among many Muslims. They're shocked, distraught and confused, and some have stopped buying beef.

Denmark also exports beef to Muslim countries, and the Islamic Faith Society says that the Muslims were misled to believe that the meat was halal.

"Muslims in Denmark and abroad ate meat which hasn't been halal slaughtered for several years, says the Islamic Faith Society. The trust in halal meat disappeared in Denmark and risks disappearing also internationally.

The Danish Bacon & Meat Council (DBMC) denies that slaughter of beef does not adhere to Islamic precepts. But the organization notes that the halal slaughter regulations were recently made stricter.

Henrik Bunkenborg of the DBMC says that their meat has been approved by the Islamic Culture Center and that they've adhered to whatever rules there were. Now that the rules are stricter there's an in-between period. He says that Muslims countries do trust Danish meat exports.

The IKC reject the criticism from other Muslims and says that a new independent supervisory body is not necessary.

"We guarantee that the meet is 100% halal. We have been around for many years in Denmark, but many other Muslim organizations want the right to issue halal certificates," says imam Khalil Jaffar Mushib of the IKC. "If people think there have been mistakes, we'll be happy to have dialog. But nobody will take over issuing certificates."

A halal certificate costs around 500 kroner a year and applies to approx. 25 tons of meat. Today the money goes to the IKC.