Halal stunning and slaughter: Criteria for the assessment of dead animals

Awal Fuseini, Toby G. Knowles, Phil J. Hadley, Stephen Wotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
3395 Downloads (Pure)


The debate surrounding the acceptability of stunning for Halal slaughter is one that is likely to linger. Compared to a couple of decades or so ago, one may argue that pre-slaughter stunning is becoming a popular practise during Halal slaughter due to the increasing number of Muslim-majority countries who continue to issue religious rulings (Fatwa) to approve the practise. Concerns have often, however been raised about the likelihood of some animals dying as a result of stunning and whether there are mechanisms in place to identify and remove dead animals stunned with irreversible techniques before their necks are cut. This paper reviews literature about what makes meat Halal, considers the arguments put forward by proponents and opponents of Halal stunning and examines the criteria used by Halal Certification Bodies to identify and reject animals that may die as a result of irreversible stunning and considers the specific risks of waterbath stunning (for poultry) from a Halal viewpoint.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalMeat Science
Early online date27 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Halal slaughter
  • Stunning
  • Brain death
  • Bleed-out
  • Animal welfare
  • Ventricular fibrillation


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