Eid is almost here which means that a ton of sheep are about to get put to sleep. Although this is a normal occurrence, and although animals are killed on a daily basis for their meat, we still do care about their welfare. We want to make sure that all animals being put to sleep this Eid are killed in the most humanitarian and merciful way possible. The halal way of killing is “halal” to begin with because it guarantees the animal is killed in the most humanitarian way possible and for the healthiest meat. So without further ado here are the steps to sacrificing an animal in the most merciful way possible:
Isolate the Sheep
Make sure that when a sheep is killed, it is killed alone. It is traumatizing for the animal to witness the slaughter of another. Therefore, it is important that the sheep does not see another getting sacrificed, and does not get sacrificed in front of another.
Do Not Do it in Public
It is uncivilized for humans and for the sheep itself, to get the sheep killed in front of people. It is not a pleasant scene, and animal do feel and sense just like any humans. Instead, take the sheep to an isolated location such as a garage or garden area.
“If the blade is not sharp, the butcher will have to keep cutting through the sheep’s throat, which would then increase the pain process for the sheep.”
Lay the Sheep Gently
Although the sheep is about to get put to sleep, you still do not want to injure it. Laying the sheep down gently ensures that the sheep is treated softly and not aggressively to avoid any injuries.
Use an Extremely Sharp Blade
Using a sharp blade ensures that the cut is made right away, which would then ensure that the sheep goes through the littlest amount of pain possible. If the blade is not sharp, the butcher will have to keep cutting through the sheep’s throat, which would then increase the pain process for the sheep.
Keep the Blade Hidden from the Sheep
Keeping the blade hidden from the sheep till the moment the blade would then need to come out, once again, ensures that the sheep does not get traumatized before getting sacrificed. Once a sheep sees a knife, they automatically know what is about to go down. This will not only traumatize them/put them in an unwanted state of fear, but will make the process of taming the sheep much harder for the butcher.
“Some Islamic scholars permit some forms of stunning that ensure the sheep does not die before the actual slitting.”
Slit the Right Spots
When you come to slit the sheep’s neck, slit the large arteries in the neck along with the oesophagus and vertebrate trachea with one swipe. Once again, this lessens the pain process, and ensures that the blood coming out does not clot. This is good for the sheep, and for the quality of the meat as well.
These are the best ways to ensure that the sheep sacrificed for Eid are sacrificed in the most humanitarian and merciful ways possible. There is one additional step that can or cannot be considered humanitarian depending on your personal stance on the matter. This step is stunning. Stunning revolves around putting the animal in a state of unconsciousness before killing it. Some Islamic scholars permit some forms of stunning that ensure the sheep does not die before the actual slitting. Other scholars prohibit any form of stunning as it only adds an additional layer to the pain. As an endnote, other Islamic steps to the sacrifice include the obvious ones such as saying the Islamic prayer on the sheep, and the Sunna of directing the sheep’s head in the “Qibla” direction.