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Open AccessArticle

Veterinary Students’ Perception and Understanding of Issues Surrounding the Slaughter of Animals According to the Rules of Halal: A Survey of Students from Four English Universities

School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
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Animals 2019, 9(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060293
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
Veterinarians play a vital role in safeguarding the welfare of animals and protecting public health during the slaughter of farm animals for human consumption. With the continued increase in the number of animals slaughtered for religious communities in the UK, this study evaluates the perception and level of understanding of religious slaughter issues by veterinary students at various stages of their studies. The results showed a significant effect of the year of study on respondents’ understanding of the regulations governing Halal slaughter and other related issues. Whilst the prevalence of vegetarianism and veganism were higher than the general UK population, the majority of respondents were meat eaters who indicated that they prefer meat from humanely slaughtered (pre-stunned) animals, irrespective of whether slaughter was performed with an Islamic prayer (Halal) or not.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the perception and level of understanding of religious slaughter issues, and the regulations governing the process, amongst veterinary students in England. A total of 459 veterinary students in different levels, or years of study (years 1–5), were surveyed. On whether there is a need for food animals to be stunned prior to slaughter, the majority of respondents 437 (95.2%) indicated that they would want all animals to be stunned before slaughter, including during religious slaughter, 17 (3.6%) either did not have an opinion or indicated ‘other’ as their preferred option and 5 (1.1%) indicated that religious slaughter should be exempt from stunning in order to comply with traditional religious values. The results showed a significant association between respondents’ year of study and (i) their understanding of UK animal welfare (at slaughter) regulations, (ii) their recognition of stunning as a pain-abolishing procedure and (iii) the likelihood of them wittingly purchasing and consuming meat from animals that have been stunned prior to slaughter, and also classified as Halal. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; stunning; religious slaughter; veterinary students; Halal meat animal welfare; stunning; religious slaughter; veterinary students; Halal meat
MDPI and ACS Style

Fuseini, A.; Grist, A.; Knowles, T.G. Veterinary Students’ Perception and Understanding of Issues Surrounding the Slaughter of Animals According to the Rules of Halal: A Survey of Students from Four English Universities. Animals 2019, 9, 293.

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