AR-News: (IL) meat industry conferences on kosher slaughter

Animal Protection and Rescue League info at
Fri Jul 11 15:38:15 EDT 2003

Cornell's Regenstein to discuss how humane slaughter issues may affect
kosher and halal practices at Chicago food conferences July 11 and 16
FOR RELEASE: July 7, 2003
Contact: Blaine P. Friedlander Jr.
Office: 607-255-3290
E-Mail: bpf2 at

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The humane slaughter of agricultural animals has been
improved in recent years due to consumer demands on fast-food chains and
supermarkets, says Joe Regenstein, Cornell University professor of food

Regenstein will discuss how these changes could affect the future of halal
practices, the Islamic food laws, as part of his keynote address to the
Fifth International Halal Food Conference, July 11, at the Palmer House in

Regenstein also has organized a morning symposium at McCormick Place,
Chicago, July 16 for the annual meeting of the Institute of Food
Technologists (the Religious and Ethnic Foods Division and the Muscle
Foods Division). The symposium, "Animal Welfare: An Update," will feature
Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at the University of Colorado
and a national proponent of creating more humane methods of slaughter.
Other speakers will include Janet Riley, senior vice president of public
affairs at the American Meat Institute; Chester England III, chief of food
safety for Burger King restaurants; Jill Hollingsworth, vice president of
food safety for the Food Marketing Institute; and Adele Douglass,
executive director of Humane Farm Animal Care.

"The methods of humane slaughter have seen an improvement over the past
several years," says Regenstein. "The key to all slaughter -- as an
acceptable practice -- is to ensure the animal is not stressed. By
implementing new methods for kosher or halal slaughter that incorporate
newer technology, the animals are less stressed and, as a result of less
stress on the animals, not only are the animals happier, but workers in
the slaughterhouses are much safer," he says.

In the past two years, such fast-food chains as McDonald's, Wendy's and
Burger King have created animal welfare committees and have begun
requiring meat suppliers to follow highly defined animal care guidelines
that exceed federal law.

Regenstein notes that the food industry has made great strides in the
improvement of pre-slaughter handling of agricultural animals. "We're
taking animal agriculture to where the industry ought to be in the 21st
century," he says.


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