Meat quality and animal welfare: Religious and scientific perspectives

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Woodhead Publishing
Farm animal welfare entails ensuring the well-being of the individual animal by preventing unnecessary animal suffering, ensuring a good quality of life and a humane death (Gregory, 1998; Grandin, 2010a,b). Animal welfare is only applicable to living animals because dead animals cannot suffer. Nonetheless, the manner, circumstance, and reason for animal death are subject to welfare concerns and could affect meat quality (Gregory, 2005; Anil, 2012). Slaughtering is regulated by strict policies, animal welfare, working conditions, and food hygiene and safety (Gregory, 1998; Farouk, 2013). The suitability of the commonly used methods is dependent on religious ideology, livestock species, consumer demands, the availability of facilities, and economic considerations (Anil, 2012; Farouk et al., 2014). Slaughter techniques, if not effectively and efficiently applied, could compromise animal welfare and operators’ safety and can hinder meat quality and safety (Gregory, 1998; Farouk et al., 2014). Current slaughter methods are broadly categorized into two, namely conventional and religious slaughtering techniques. Conventional slaughter involves the application of stunning (electrical, gas, and mechanical) prior to neck, while religious slaughter involves the killing of animals by neck cut using a sharp knife in accordance to religious prescriptions (Anil, 2012; Farouk, 2013). Regardless of slaughter method, consumers generally demand for conventional meat quality attributes (Farouk et al., 2014; Sabow et al., 2016). Nonetheless, in addition to conventional quality, spiritual quality is important for those who consume meat from religiously slaughtered animals (Farouk et al., 2014). When applied correctly, stunning improves animal welfare (Gregory, 1998; Anil, 2012). However, stunning could have adverse effects on carcass and meat quality and could pose public health concerns
Meat quality, Animal welfare, Religious and scientific perspectives
Sazili, A. Q., Adeyemi, K. D., Sabow, A. B., & Nakyinsige, K. (2018). Meat quality and animal welfare: Religious and scientific perspectives. In Preparation and Processing of Religious and Cultural Foods (pp. 359-375). Woodhead Publishing.