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Halal butcher caught
I missed this just before Christmas. From Aftenposten, the English language version of the Norwegian newspaper.
Food Safety Authority inspectors apparently uncovered an illegal halal butchery operation on a surprise visit to a farm in Østfold County
The Muslim practice of halal, where the animal is not anesthetized before killing, and is bled to death by having its carotid artery cut, is illegal in Norway, for violation of animal treatment laws.
"This is a severe violation of the Animal Protection Act and it will be viewed very seriously," said Kirsti Ullsfoss, FSA district chief for the region. "Several times we have arrived after the slaughter and seen clear signs. But something like this is a new experience for us,"
The farmer insists that nothing illegal has been going on on his farm.
"It isn't illegal to sell live sheep from your own farm," Ole Martin Eggen told newspaper Smaalenene's web site.
Eggen said many Muslims visit his farm to buy sheep, and claimed he had a routine for avoiding any illegal activity.
"I help the new owners kill the animal they have bought. It is not leagl to cut the throat of a live animal in Norway, so I shoot the sheep in the forehead first. I tell the Muslims that the sheep has had a mild anesthetic. I don't think they understand that the animal is dead after I use the rifle. Afterwards the Muslims cut the sheep's throat. When it is done this way the animal bleeds the right way, according to the Muslims. In fact today I had a whole family come for a halal butchering, and they had a little ceremony together," the farmer said.