This book highlights the significance of the Halal industry, covering animal welfare, Halal rules, governance, meat certification and fraud, and market dynamics across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
The Halal sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the meat industry due to rapid expansion in Muslim population across Europe, and the fact that Muslims over-index in the consumption of meat. This has resulted in a scramble for a share of the Halal market by the mainstream retail multiples and some independent butchers.
Despite the economic significance of this market, there are welfare concerns regarding traditional Halal methods of slaughter. Additionally, the rules of Halal meat production are not well understood by industry due to differences in the interpretation of the dietary laws within the Muslim community.
The objective of Halal Meat Production and Market Opportuntities is to highlight the economic significance of the Halal market, explain the different Halal slaughter methods, touch on the significance of animal welfare in Islam, the benefits of Halal certification to food businesses and give suggestions on how the welfare of animals can be improved during Halal slaughter.
Further, the acceptability of modern slaughter technologies (e.g.. pre-slaughter stunning) based on different markets is highlighted to enable food business operators to understand the market dynamics.
The target audience includes academics, policymakers, animal welfare organisations, meat inspectors, students, farmers, abattoir operators, consumers, animal welfare organisations and others.
Awal Fuseini is the Halal Sector manager of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). His role involves collaboration with Halal certifiers, abattoir operators, meat processors and key stakeholders in the Halal sector with a view to creating a better understanding of the sector. Prior to joining the AHDB, Awal worked for the UK’s Halal Food Authority (HFA) as the certification manager. His role at the HFA involved auditing of Halal abattoirs and manufacturing sites as well as managing a team of Halal auditors.
Awal has recently completed his PhD research at Bristol University, where his work has led to the development of a new system of head-only electrical stunning for the humane slaughter of adult cattle. He also holds a BSc (Agriculture) from Cape Coast University in Ghana and MSc (Meat Science and Technology) from Bristol University in the UK. He is a member of the British Veterinary Association’s animal welfare at slaughter committee and a tutor on the AHDB’s meat masterclass course, as well as the Halal food production course run by Albalagh Academy.
Awal has widely published on Halal slaughter, certification and animal welfare in a number of reputable journals, including Meat Science, Animal Welfare, CAB Reviews journal and others. Awal’s research interests include animal welfare during slaughter, Halal consumer behaviour and the market forces influencing the growth of the Halal market.
Salama Evans - 10th March 2020
To review this book, we have to start by asking the question of why a book with the leading part of the title ‘Halal Meat Production’ needs to be written in the first place. The second part of the title, ‘and Market Opportunities’ is easier to comprehend, as the terms Halal Market, or Halal Industry which would include all the halal sectors outside of the food sector, are relatively new areas of growth in the economy. Many Muslim and non-Muslim countries are looking into these segments for their own economic growth with one quarter of the world’s population now Muslim.
Despite the economic significance of the Halal market, Halal meat production has been viewed in a negative light, including the use of the term ‘barbaric’ to describe the welfare aspects of Halal slaughter, which the mainstream media are always eager to highlight, particularly in the industrialised world. This has led to debate as to whether it is ethical to produce Halal meat in the first place. The negative media reportage in non-Muslim countries has led to debate and promoted protests by animal rights propagandists against Halal meat production. This usually narrows down to opposition to animals not being stunned before slaughter, which is the preferred method of slaughter for Muslims if possible. However, because of the high demand for animal protein, stunning does occur with 80% of Halal meat products. Whether the animal is stunned or not, but labelled Halal, is not mentioned generally, except for companies that make a point of only producing non-stun products so those who prefer them know, and there is a certification body that focuses on this, and it’s logo would imply that the products are non-stun.
This brings me to the point of the book, which is to highlight the significance of animal welfare in Islam, the book highlights the holistic approach to animal welfare emphasised in Islamic scriptures. That is, the rearing of animals for Halal slaughter is expected to be in the most humane way as possible, highlighting the need to treat animals from farm to fork, whether they are eventually pre-stunned, post-cut stunned or non-stunned.
Dr Awal Fuseini’s approach to addressing the topics covered in the book is fascinating, the book highlights his wealth of experience in industry and academia. His emphasis on animal welfare from Islamic perspective demystifies the erroneous perception that welfare during Halal slaughter is always poor. In my opinion, Awal’s book will help educate people who may not understand, or who draw incorrect conclusions fuelled by biased media about the way Muslims perform the religious sacrifice of animals in the name of the same God that people recognise in the Torah, Bible and the Quran, if they are religious in the first place. Some have gone as far as calling the God the Muslims worship, different from the One that they worship, which of course is not the case.
Dr Awal has worked dedicatedly in the Halal sector and is already known broadly for his scientific papers on Animal Welfare, certification and meat fraud. Taking you through the book he introduces the Halal meat sector to his readership, stage by stage starting from the origin of the word Halal up to Understanding Halal Market Dynamics and the extensions out from it into Muslim Festivals and Halal Food Exhibitions. All of which have only recently come onto the scene during in the last 15 years, as country after country recognised the potential economic growth for their country, with the continuing growth of the Muslim population, both through birth and conversion.
Halal has not had an easy growth though, because, when it crossed over into the Western mainstream markets, issues were raised about non stun religious slaughter. This is the reason that it was necessary in the first place to write this book, to clear up the misconceptions about the religious slaughter of animals, and the association with it being labelled ‘barbaric’. The book also highlights how knowledge of the anatomy of animals can be used to improve animal welfare during stun and non-stun slaughter.
Though the media rarely reports on the ‘barbaric’ way that animals are raised for the mainstream market before they even get to slaughter. Bit by bit it is coming out now, even through with an extreme case when a Hollywood celebrity spoke out against it from the stage of the Oscars.
Managing Editor - HalalFocus.net
Halal Advisor and Board Member, OneAgrix
This book weighs: 340g
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