Islamic law is compatible with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s international standards designed to improve animal welfare in the context of slaughter, it has been concluded.
The conclusion was reached in one of two technical items presented and discussed at the recent 12th Conference of the OIE’s Regional Commission for the Middle East, which was held in Amman (Jordan) from 23 to 26 September 2013.
In a press release, the OIE said: “The conclusions are that Islamic law is compatible with the OIE’s international standards designed to improve animal welfare in the context of slaughter. All the Islamic rules relating to the management of animals, including during transport operations and slaughter, are founded on compassion, kindness and benevolence. Yet, some current practices are not yet in accord with all of these precepts.”
The OIE urges Veterinary Services to engage in discussions with religious authorities on these diffferent points, with the aim of raising their awareness. Various recommendations on the subject were discussed and validated.
“By encouraging dialogue between the Veterinary Services and the religious authorities, the OIE seeks to promote the importance of animal welfare and reduce, wherever possible, the needless suffering inflicted on animals,” said Dr Vallat.
The second technical item discussed at conference related to improving continuing education and incorporation of the ‘One Health’ concept and was adopted by the Regional Commission. Potential developments in initial veterinary training were also talked about and the OIE’s new initiative on measures to facilitate the movement of horses taking part in international competitions was welcomed by all the participants. Participants also agreed on the need to harmonise national food safety legislation in the region.
The Opening Session of the conference took place in the presence of His Majesty, the King of Jordan, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, OIE Goodwill Ambassador, and Her Royal Highness Princess Alia. Dr Karin Schwabenbauer, OIE president, Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE director-general, senior officials of the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture, the delegates of the 21 member countries of the OIE Regional Commission for the Middle East, representatives of international and regional organisations and numerous observers also participated in the conference.