GCC Standard for Islamic Halal Slaughter Regulations for Meat and Poultry 2004

By USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - This report is an unofficial translation of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Standard No. 993/1998. This standard governs conditions of “Halal” slaughter of animals that is to be conducted according to the Islamic Law (Shari’a).
calendar icon 7 July 2004
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GCC Standard for Islamic Halal Slaughter Regulations for Meat and Poultry 2004 - By USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - This report is an unofficial translation of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Standard No. 993/1998. This standard governs conditions of “Halal” slaughter of animals that is to be conducted according to the Islamic Law (Shari’a).

Report Highlights

The Governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates enforce this standard under their respective national standard numbers. This standard should not/not be confused with the regulations that govern the accreditation of Islamic Centers which supervise the “Halal” slaughter process and issue the “Halal” certificate.

Conditions for Animal Slaughter According to the Rules of Islamic Law (Shari’a)

This standard specification was issued in response to a decision of the Board of Directors of the Organization and a decision of the Supreme GCC Council, taken at its third session held in Bahrain on 23/1/1403 Hijra or 9/11/1982 A.D.

1- Field and scope of application
This Gulf standard covers the general conditions of animal slaughter – including poultry – according to the rules of Islamic Law (Shari’a).

2- Terminology
2/1 Al Zakah: Slaughtering an animal in accordance to the Islamic Law (Shari’a). This is performed in one of the following ways:

2/1/1 Al Zabeh: (Slaughter): Cutting the throat: cutting the trachea and esophagus and the jugular veins, usually used for sheep, cattle and poultry.

2/1/2 Al Naher: (Slaying): Stabbing in the throat and then cutting it up to the top of the chest. Usually used for camels.

2/1/3 Al ‘Aqer: Wounding an animal which cannot be controlled, whether it be a wild animal whose hunting is allowed or a domesticated animal that has gone wild.

2/2 Al Meeta: Animals that have died a natural death without Zakah. Any part cut from an animal before it is slaughtered is considered to be “Meeta”.

2/3 Al Monkhaniqa: Animals that die by suffocation.

2/4 Al Mawqooza: (Fatally beaten animal): Animals that have died as a result of being beaten with a stick or other instrument, which kills by virtue of its weight. This excludes animals killed by arrow or bullet or a similar method, for hunting purposes.

2/5 Al Mutaradiya: Animals that have died as a result of falling from a height or falling into a pit or similar location.

2/6 Al Nateeha: Animals that have died as a result of being butted in the head.

2/7 Ma Akal Assab’: Animals that have been caught by a lion or a bird of prey (except hunting).

2/8 Ma ohilla ligheir Allah bihi: Animals who have been slaughtered in the name of some other than Allah, such as idols or false gods.

2/9 Large animals: large-sized mature animals such as camels, cows, goats, sheep and other animals that are of similar dimensions.

3- Requirements
3/1 Requirements of the animal that is to be slaughtered:

3/1/1 The animal must not be one whose meat Muslims have been prohibited from eating, such as:

3/1/1/1 Meeta (carrion), Monkhaniqa (an animal that died by suffocation), Mawqooza (one that has been fatally beaten), Mutaradiya (one that has fallen from a height or into a pit), Nateeha (one that has been butted to death), or Ma Akal Assab’ (the remains of what the lion or a bird of prey has eaten and Ma ohilla ligheir Allah bihi (what has been slaughtered in a name other than that of Allah).

3/1/1/2 Pigs, dogs, domesticated donkeys, elephants and mules.

3/1/1/3 Wild animals such as lions, leopards and bears.

3/1/1/4 Birds of prey with sharp talons that they use in hunting, such as eagles and falcons.

3/2 Requirements of the slaughterer (Al Muzakki) and the instrument of slaughter:

3/2/1 The slaughterer must a Muslim, or a person of the scriptures, (Ahl Al Kitab, i.e. a Jew or a Christian).

3/2/2 The slaughter must be performed under the supervision of a Muslim who has been entrusted with the job and who knows the rules of slaughter (Zakah) under Islamic Law (Shari’a).

3/2/3 The instrument used for slaughtering the animal should be made of any material except bone or nails (Dhofr).

3/2/4 The slaughter instrument should be clean and sharp, cutting with its edge and not by its weight. The slaying operation should be done as thoroughly as possible.

3/2/5 The mechanical blade in slaughterhouses that follow this system should be calibrated to cut only the four jugular veins and not other parts of the neck. This should be done from the front and not from the sides of the neck.

3/2/6 It is not allowed to hit the animal on the head or to use any method similar to that (such as a stun gun, stun hammer and carbon dioxide).

3/2/7 The animals stay alive – in the event that low-grade electrical stunning is used on the head alone – in order that the Zakah (slaughter) may be performed. The sign for that is that the animal should move when it is slaughtered. If it dies before the Zakah then it is considered to be Mawqooza (fatally beaten) and is rejected. Electrical stunning is not permitted for poultry.

3/3 The requirements of the method of slaughter (Al Zakah).

3/3/1 Mention of the name of Allah when slaughtering (Bismillah).

3/3/2 That the slaughter (Zakah) of the animal be carried out in one of the Islamic Law (Shari’a) ways mentioned in Section 2/1.

3/3/3 The animal is slaughtered by cutting the trachea, the esophagus and the jugular veins from the front, from the side of the chest, not on the side of the back of the neck or the back.

3/3/4 The neck of the animal must not be cut or broken or any other similar action undertaken, until the bleeding has stopped.

3/3/5 No part of the animal is cut until the slaughter (Zakah) has been performed.

3/3/6 Animals should not be slaughtered nor stored in places, nor using instruments that have been used on animals whose meat Muslims are forbidden to eat.

3/4 Requirements of Supervision, Control and Stamping.

3/4/1 Every consignment should be accompanied by a certificate ratified by the missions of the concerned GCC states, or their representatives, or a certificate issued by an Islamic Center or establishment (if any) recognized by the concerned authorities in the GCC states, proving that the slaughter has been carried out in accordance with the rules of Islamic Law (Shari’a). The latter must be ratified by the missions of the GCC states or their representatives.

3/4/2 The stamp of the Islamic Center or establishment should be difficult to forge and the ink should be permanent and non-toxic.

3/4/3 Every slaughtered animal (chilled or frozen) or the final packages of special cuts of meat should bear the stamp of the Islamic Center or establishment by its representative to indicate that the slaying has been done under the supervision of that center or establishment.

Standardization & Metrology Organization for the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries (GSMO)

The Organization is the regional body for measurements in the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It is mandated with the coordination of all activities related to measurements in the Council countries such as:

  • Legislative matters related to specifications and measurements in the Council countries. It alone has the responsibility for drawing up, endorsing and publishing standard Gulf specifications for goods, products, measuring instruments, identifications, symbols, technical terminology, implementation conditions, methods of taking samples and methods of inspection, testing and calibration.

  • Preparing, printing and publishing Gulf standard specifications.

  • Monitoring the application of the approved standard specifications by the standards and measurements agencies in each of the member states.

  • Organizing legal and industrial verification activities.

  • Drawing up a system for conferring marks of quality and conformity on products.

  • Spreading awareness of measurements.

  • Taking part as an observer in regional and international organizations related to measurements, which serve the aims of the authority.

It is possible to obtain the standard Gulf specifications from the Authority’s headquarters in Riyadh:

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - July 2004

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