HALAL GOAT FARM­ING: From farm to plate

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THE HALAL FOOD in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment pro­gram was one of the Ban­ner Pro­grams of the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture re­cently launched at the Shar­iff Kabun­suan Com­plex, Of­fice of the Re­gional Gover­nor’s Com­pound, Cota­bato City. Oth­ers are rice and corn, fish­eries, and live­stock.

The launch was graced by dif­fer­ent heads of gov­ern­ment line agen­cies and se­lected re­gional and pro­vin­cial lo­cal ex­ec­u­tives. The Halal Food In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram Man­age­ment Of­fice is un­der the ste­ward­ship of the Agri­cul­ture De­part­ment Un­der­sec­re­tary for Spe­cial Con­cerns Atty. Rani­bai D. Di­lan­galen.

The World Halal Meat and Live­stock Mar­ket: Based on Thom­son Reuters’ Is­lamic Econ­omy Re­port, the lead­ing ex­porter of halal cer­ti­fied meat is Brazil, which ac­counted for al­most 60 per­cent of to­tal halal meat im­ports of the Mid­dle East and North­ern African Coun­tries, in­clud­ing the GCC.

Iron­i­cally, only two Mus­lim coun­tries are among the top ten ex­porters of halal cer­ti­fied meat and live­stock coun­tries (Pak­istan and Turkey); the rest are non-Mus­lim coun­tries.

Why Halal Food? For the Mus­lim con­sumers, halal food is of ab­so­lute re­li­gious obli­ga­tion to con­sume based on Is­lamic prin­ci­ples or Sharia Law. Any par­cel quan­tity of food con­tam­i­nated by haram or pro­hib­ited things by Is­lamic law or meat of halal an­i­mals (ru­mi­nants and poul­try) not slaugh­tered ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic rites, forty days of prayers, or worship of the said Mus­lim will not be ac­cepted by Almighty God (Al­lah). For Mus­lims, there is no worship without prayer and there­fore, there is no Is­lam if there is no halal. Halal cer­ti­fied foods can be pro­duced, pro­cessed, and con­sumed by any re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion, so it has a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage for nonMus­lims in terms of halal busi­ness.

HOW TO START HALAL COM­PLI­ANT GOAT FARM­ING

Fenc­ing: The fenc­ing of a farm is highly rec­om­mended for halal-com­pli­ant goat, con­sid­er­ing the risk of cross con­tam­i­na­tion with non-halal an­i­mals like swine and other stray an­i­mals that can en­ter the farm. The use of live posts such as madre de ca­cao or ipil ipil is of great ad­van­tage be­cause it can also serve as source of feeds. A nine-hole hog wire is the best of choice for the pur­pose. Fenc­ing is also im­por­tant as part of biose­cu­rity mea­sures. A dog is al­lowed in Is­lam for two pur­poses: guard­ing the farm (i.e live­stock) and for hunt­ing. Breed se­lec­tion for halal goat: Sim­i­lar to con­ven­tional goat hus­bandry, se­lec­tion of stocks to raise is cru­cial for a suc­cess­ful halal goat pro­duc­tion, even though there is no re­stric­tion of breeds of goat in­tended for halal pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing. Prefer­ably, the ini­tial stocks should come from re­li­able sources

of good prog­eny and not min­gled pre­vi­ously with the non-halal an­i­mals such as swine.

About six breeds of goats are raised in the coun­try but only three are com­monly raised. These are: 1) Na­tive, with an av­er­age weight of about 20 kg, able to give milk of 0.5 liters a day; 2) An­glo-Nu­bian, a dual-type weigh­ing about 80 kg, able to give milk of 1.5 liters a day; and 3) Boer, a fast grow­ing breed reach­ing about 120 kg but only able to give 1 liter of milk a day.

Breed­ing of halal goat: There are two types of an­i­mal breed­ing—nat­u­ral and ar­ti­fi­cial—for the halal com­pli­ant goat farm. Nat­u­ral breed­ing is highly rec­om­mended, but ar­ti­fi­cial breed­ing, like in­sem­i­na­tion or em­bryo trans­plant, can be prac­ticed but not in the en­tire life of the doe (fe­male goat); said doe can also ex­pe­ri­ence nat­u­ral breed­ing.

Be­cause of the re­li­gious un­der­tone of the word halal, we sub­scribed to the com­mand­ment of God or Al­lah (Sub­hana o Wa Taala) in the Glo­ri­ous Qur’an (Re­li­gious Book of Is­lam) and con­sid­ered an­i­mal wel­fare in Is­lam, an act or law en­acted far ahead with the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act of Man, writ­ten al­most 1,500 years ago, and Al­lah (Sub­hana o Wa Taala) says: “There is not a liv­ing crea­ture on earth nor a bird fly­ing with its two wings but they are com­mu­nity like you….” (Chap­ter 6: verse 38). Hence, cloning is strictly pro­hib­ited on halal-com­pli­ant goat farms.

Feeds and feed­ing of halal goat: There are two types of feed­ing: the use of roughage and con­cen­trate. Roughage are grasses, legumes, and plan­ta­tion refuse such as pineap­ple tops and peels, sugar cane tops, etc. Roughage can be fed to goats. Con­cen­trate is for­mu­lated by mix­ing dif­fer­ent grains, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, and an­i­mal pro­tein. Feed­ing of halal goats is iden­ti­cal to con­ven­tional goat rais­ing with a few ex­cep­tions as fol­lows:

• The use of an­i­mal pro­tein de­rived from non-halal an­i­mal sources in con­cen­trate for­mu­lated feeds such as bone meal, meat meal, and blood meal is pro­hib­ited. • Even if the an­i­mal pro­tein is from a halal an­i­mal like cattle, if it is not slaugh­tered ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic rites, the said an­i­mal is con­sid­ered pro­hib­ited (haram) in Is­lam. • Halal cer­ti­fied meat and bone meal from Aus­tralia is avail­able, though. • Blood meal from any ori­gin is pro­hib­ited in Is­lam. • An an­i­mal that has con­sumed haram-laden feed is termed AlJalalah or im­pure. Such an an­i­mal can be cleansed or the meat turn into halal pro­vided the fol­low­ing con­di­tions are met: 1) said im­pure an­i­mal or Al Jalalah should be put in what we call in Ara­bic “Al Istibra” or with­drawal or Halal Vet­eri­nary Quar­an­tine for seven to ten days for goat (large ru­mi­nants, 40 days, and birds, only 3 days) be­fore slaugh­ter; 2) dur­ing the said pe­riod, the an­i­mal must be fed its nat­u­ral diet like grasses and legumes be­fore slaugh­ter. The ba­sis for such a pro­hi­bi­tion was the au­then­tic say­ing or in­struc­tion of the Prophet Muham­mad saw: “The Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (SAW) for­bids the meat (of) al-Jal­lalah (im­pure) an­i­mal or (drink­ing) its milk’.”

Hous­ing for halal goats: Goat sheds or houses must be pro­vided as in con­ven­tional goat farm­ing. El­e­vated floor­ing is rec­om­mended in halal goat farm­ing.

Com­plete con­fine­ment or in­ten­sive man­age­ment (zero-graz­ing) of goat for the en­tire life of the goat is not rec­om­mended on halal-com­pli­ant goat farms as it vi­o­lates an­i­mal wel­fare in Is­lam. Pe­ri­odic graz­ing must be prac­ticed as in ex­ten­sive type of goat

hus­bandry.

OTHER PRAC­TICES

• Brand­ing and de­horn­ing with the use of a hot iron or elec­tric cautery is highly dis­cour­aged. The best al­ter­na­tive is to use caus­tic soda or stick for de­horn­ing a newly born kid. Ear or neck tags can be used. • Cas­tra­tion is strictly pro­hib­ited in Is­lam as it vi­o­lates an­i­mal wel­fare in Is­lam. Dis­pose of ex­cess bucks (male goats) for slaugh­ter and buy does as ad­di­tional stocks. • Halal goat farms must be cer­ti­fied halal by a le­git­i­mate halal cer­ti­fy­ing body and should have a des­ig­nated prac­tic­ing Mus­lim halal as­sur­ance of­fi­cer or au­di­tor, ori­ented by the halal cer­ti­fy­ing body.

HALAL SLAUGH­TER­ING

• Slaugh­ter the goat in a most hu­mane method in or­der to con­form with the halal way or Is­lamic teach­ings. • The pre­con­di­tions of halal slaugh­ter­ing are: le­gal own­er­ship of goat, has good health, halal-fed, non-preg­nant, and mar­ketable age which is at least one (1) year of age. Be­fore we pro­ceed to this topic, here are some of the Is­lamic in­junc­tions from the au­then­tic in­struc­tions or say­ing of the Prophet 1,400 years ago and the very teach­ing of Is­lam: “There is a re­ward for show­ing kind­ness to ev­ery liv­ing things.” “There is no man who kills [even] a spar­row or any­thing smaller, without its de­serv­ing it, but God will ques­tion him about it on the judg­ment day.” “Who­ever is kind to the crea­tures of God is kind to him­self.” “Do not kill one an­i­mal in the pres­ence of an­other, or sharpen your knives be­fore them.” • The ideal halal abat­toir or slaugh­ter­house for small ru­mi­nants is to di­vide the slaugh­ter area into quar­ters or rooms in or­der to pre­vent an­i­mals from see­ing each other dur­ing the slaugh­ter­ing process.

There are two meth­ods of slaugh­ter­ing: con­ven­tional and re­li­gious. In the con­ven­tional method, slaugh­ter can be per­formed by any ex­pert in­di­vid­ual of any re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tion, stunning us­ing cap­tive bolt or ham­mer and high volt­age, hence there is no re­li­gious sig­nif­i­cance. The other method is re­li­gious and di­vided into two, Halal and Kosher. Here is the com­par­i­son of the said re­li­gious meth­ods:

There are dif­fer­ent opin­ions among Is­lamic schol­ars of high­est im­mi­nence. Some say it is haram or pro­hib­ited in Is­lam to use stunning and some do not. Stunned meat is now banned in the Mid­dle East, par­tic­u­larly in the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia. The pro­vi­sion is clearly stated in the Gulf Stan­dard GCC-9932015 (Halal Slaugh­ter­ing) for­mu­lated in 2015 but which only started im­ple­men­ta­tion this year. This step is a ma­jor set­back for halal meat ex­porters like Brazil, Thai­land, and Aus­tralia for their poul­try, chevon, mut­ton, and beef prod­ucts. Hope­fully, our halal gi­ant poul­try in­te­gra­tors in Min­danao, Tiaong, Que­zon, and Lu­cena City will re­con­sider the use of water bath stunning, if they have plans for Mus­lim mar­kets, both lo­cal and global.

Non-stunning un­der the Meat In­spec­tion Code of the Philip­pines is al­lowed as in­di­cated in its Im­ple­ment­ing Rules and Reg­u­la­tions, Sec­tion 19: (Hu­mane Han­dling and Slaugh­ter­ing) Rule 19.3: “The food an­i­mals pre­sented for slaugh­ter, ex­cept those an­i­mals slaugh­tered fol­low­ing rit­u­als and re­li­gious prac­tices, shall be ef­fec­tively stunned fol­low­ing ap­proved stunning method prior to stick­ing or bleed­ing to en­sure that the an­i­mals are ren­dered un­con­scious with a min­i­mal of ex­cite­ment or dis­tur­bance and without suf­fer­ing.”

Ad­di­tional re­quire­ments: The halal abat­toir for goats must be fenced, at least 200 me­ters from any pig­gery farm in a non-Mus­lim area. It must be cer­ti­fied halal by a le­git­i­mate halal cer­ti­fy­ing body with an as­signed prac­tic­ing Mus­lim slaugh­terer and a Halal As­sur­ance and Mon­i­tor­ing of­fi­cer.

The han­dling and trans­port of halal cer­ti­fied meat in the abat­toir and to the mar­ket must con­form to halal stan­dards and guide­lines. It must be trans­ported by a NMIS ac­cred­ited meat van bear­ing the Halal Cer­ti­fied Mark logo (in­scribed name of halal cer­ti­fier) on the out­side wall panel.

In the wet mar­ket or gro­cery cen­ter, halal cer­ti­fied meat must be com­pletely seg­re­gated from non-halal meat for re­tail to con­sumers or be­fore reach­ing the plate.

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