I am writing to you with some good news from Istanbul, Turkey. Asalet from Eyes on Animals, together with his cousin Ayhan, spent last week helping animals during the yearly Muslim sacrificial festival. During this festival cattle and sheep are sold on the streets and slaughtered in designated stations by just about anyone.
Asalet was present explaining what a captive bolt pistol is and the real essence of Halal. He politely offered to stun the animals first. Ayhan filmed everything.
On the first day there was some resistance but by the evening one customer agreed to have his animal first stunned, which Asalet did. The local butchers and the people in the crowd, seeing stunning for the first time, were so impressed by how much more “humane” it was to first render the animal insensitive to pain.
By the next day more people asked for their animal to first be rendered unconscious. Asalet taught some of the local butchers how to use the captive bolt pistol themselves too.
After 2 long days in the heat, helping wherever they could, Asalet and Ayhan edited the footage to make a short film showing the difference between the old-fashioned bad practices used when slaughtering cattle and sheep with just a knife and the quicker more humane version of first stunning the animals with a captive bolt pistol.
They showed this video to the head veterinarian and city officials of Istanbul together with the Turkish FATWA (written rules by Imams) indicating clearly that stunning is permitted in Islam.
The officials were shocked at the difference stunning made, and were particularly interested in the improvements made to the safety of the people. Every year many people are brought to the hospitals after being injured by a bovine that was incorrectly slaughtered and fighting for its life still. They agree that captive bolts must be made available next year.