Halal certification is currently being granted through various different organizations in Turkey. The standards are to be consistent with Islamic law. TSE (The Turkish Standardization Institute) is a state institute which also grants halal certification to organizations and companies that request it. We dropped in today to see if someone could talk to us and met with Ms Banu Kocabas.
Their standards regarding animal-welfare at the time of slaughter are for the most part identical to our vision (non-slippery floors, no unnecessary additional stress, gentle handling). However, the execution of these standards is unfortunately difficult. Many slaughterhouses have difficulty putting theory into practice. Ms. Kocabas is interested in animal protection. We showed her our footage showing the pre-stunning method, which is not normally applied in Turkey to cattle or sheep. We showed her our post-stunning films from Belgium, as well as pre-stunning of a bovine recently taken in the first Turkish slaughterhouse to do so. Unfortunately, there is no uniform standard slaughtering method in any Islamic country- it varies from place to place. There are many associations that have established their own standards and issued certificates to contracting companies. Some require stunning, some only post-stunning, some never at all. TSE issues a national ISO-norm halal certification, which can also be awarded internationally. Their aim is to make standards internationally uniform.
Ms. Kocabas enthusiastically accepted a copy of our educational brochure on what practical steps can be put in place to reduce some of the suffering and stress animals experience during slaughter. We have agreed to meet with her superiors in the near future to see about holding a presentation for their certifiers.