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Culture Saudi Arabia

Dhabiha, the act of lawful animal slaughter

October 7, 2017

While browsing through the meat section of a local grocery, I noticed a print on the package of a chicken breast fillet: Slaughtered and processed in accordance with Islamic sharia principles. Sometimes, the print can be as straightforward as “Slaughtered by hand with a sharp knife as per Islamic rites.”

Curious as to what the note could have probably meant, I consulted the ever reliable Google for explanations. This is what I found.

Dhabihah (Dhabīḥah or Zabiha) is, in Islamic law, the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding camels, locusts, fish and most sea-life. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. It must be done with respect and compassion; avoiding as much as possible any animal pain or discomfort.

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