The Australian Fatwa Council has concluded that the practice of CAS stunning, in its current form, is not fit for Halal consumption under the Islamic laws and principles of Halal slaughter.
Stunning, in general, is discouraged under Halal slaughter. An Islamic verdict was previously issued to allow stunning where deemed necessary by regulatory standards. This verdict outlined specific conditions within the stunning process that will allow it to be fit for Halal consumption under the Islamic principles of Halal Slaughter. The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) had requested an assessment to be performed on the pre-stunning of poultry using controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS).
After the assessment by 2 veterinarians at a large poultry plant that has adopted CAS stunning before slaughter, a report in line with the scope set was presented to the Fatwa Council for assessment and decision. A qualified cardiologist assisted the ANIC in understanding and interpreting the vital signs and ECG results that were performed.
The Australian Fatwa Council stated that the animal is deemed to be dead before slaughter and, therefore, “this method cannot be accepted or certified as Halal for consumption”. The Council added that any Halal certifications of CAS stunned facilities are invalid until an adequate assessment of the CAS stunned facility and its processes is conducted in line with the same scope inclusive of vital signs and ECG reports with expert interpretation, presented to the Australian Fatwa Council for assessment.
The Council noted, too, that the method of CAS stunning of poultry is not permitted by any global Halal standards set by any Muslim country around the world.
The Australian National Imams Council notes: “Unfortunately, CAS in Australia is widely practised by some of the biggest brands in the industry. Although they may be labelled as Halal, this method does not meet the minimum requirements to be considered for Halal consumption and should be avoided and decertified immediately.”
The Council continued: “We are engaging with the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission] to discuss measures that could be taken against the false advertisement and labelling of Halal products in general. Some businesses are misleading the consumer to believe their Poultry is sourced from an electric stunned facility, when in reality, they are sourcing their Poultry from both electric stunned and CAS stunned facilities.