The National Council of SPCAs, on behalf of the SPCA movement in South Africa, extends good wishes to all our citizens of the Islamic faith who will be celebrating or partaking in Qurbani which begins this year on 06 November 2011. This festival is celebrated annually and involves the slaughter or sacrifice of animals for religious reasons. Animals slaughtered would include sheep, goats and cattle.
The NSPCA appeals to the Moslem community: – “In the spirit of Islam, we appeal to all who partake in Qurbani that animals are handled with respect and compassion.”
Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon his soul) taught kindness to animals. His order was for the animal to:
1. be over a certain age and size,
2. have no bruises or defects,
3. be prepared by feeding it and allowing it to drink water,
4. to be petted it as it is laid down,
5. to not be shown the knife,
6. to not be shown the slaughtering of another animal,
7. to have a knife used that is so sharp that it slaughters with one stroke,
8. to be slaughtered at the jugular vein which is proven to issue the least amount of suffering since the animal dies immediately.
The monitoring of Qurbani will take place throughout South Africa by most SPCAs. This includes manner of transportation, handling, holding of the animals plus checking premises and facilities and the actual sacrifice. The NSPCA will have monitoring teams at various sites where sacrificial slaughter will take place.
The SPCA movement encourages pre-stunning of all animals before slaughter and would like to see this become the norm, not the exception. The same standards apply to ALL types of slaughter: – religious, traditional, cultural and tribal.
Appreciation is also expressed for the growing number of Moslems who choose to donate money “in lieu” of a literal sacrifice.
The laws of South Africa do not conflict with the Qur’an.
The NSPCA states that “The Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 applies to all killings of animals: – all religious slaughter, traditional or ceremonial slaughter plus procedures at registered and illegal abattoirs. No single community or religious belief is being or has ever been singled out.”
NOTE: – The media statement above was forwarded in draft form to the Council of Moslem Theologians who advised the NSPCA on 28 October 2011 that “While we find the first 5 paragraphs acceptable, due to the above observations, it is not possible for us to endorse the statement as it stands. We however look forward to working with you in highlighting the importance of kindness to animals, an aspect which is part and parcel of the good practice of Islam.”