I was pleased to see this article in to-day's news which describes Princess Alia's plea to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to stop the ritual slaughter of conscious animals for halal meat in Australia. Here is Princess Alia's op-ed piece. She outlines Islam's clear concept of respect for animals.
For those of us concerned about the welfare of animals and who want to stamp out cruelty, particularly in food production, this practice and its allowance by governments has been an absolute scandal.
Australians tend to take it for granted that animals are stunned before being slaughtered so that there is no pain to the animal. Well, read this with your morning cornflakes and be ashamed. This is what bend-over-backwards governments do for special interest groups unbeknown to the rest of the electorate.
Mr Burke, our supine Federal Minister for Agriculture, is quoted as saying:
''There are a variety of views within Islam as to what constitutes halal food, and a similar range of views in Judaism as to what constitutes kosher food,'' he said. ''It's not for government to adjudicate over these differences, but it is our role within the spectrum of faiths in Australia to promote the most humane practices.''
This is absolute and unmitigated garbage. Not only does Princess Alia give the lie to what constitutes humane practice under Islam, the Minister himself is there to uphold Australia's humane practices not concede dubious religious concessions. "Within the spectrum of faiths in Australia" the Minister has NOT promoted humane practice at all. Vote buying and electoral pandering has been put above and beyond animal suffering. Thanks Mr Burke.
But can I give true thanks and acknowledgment to the good folk at Animals Australia. I am taking a wild guess that they have had a finger in the pie of getting this disgraceful practice into the mainstream media. The indefatigible Lyn White has built up a friendship with Princess Alia over the years as she has researched and backgrounded the inhumane pratices surrounding live sheep exports to the Middle East. Both Lyn and Princess Alia have form - prize-winning form - in eradicating animal cruelty in the Middle East.