today the Dutch parliament voted to ban the slaughter of animals if they are unstunned. In Islam, the act of stunning is not haram intself, it is the risk that the animal may be dead before the throat is cut, which would make it carrion.
There is much more to this , and hopefully it will act as a catalyst for further discussion amongst us muslims based in the west.
Most muslims are unaware that the vast majority of halal chicken and lamb consumed in the thousands of indian restaurants in europe are slaughtered in brazil and new zeeland where the animal is ritually slaughtered and stunned. The reason new zeeland and brazillain meat is ritually slaughtered is because they are the main supplier of meat to the middle east, and so it was in their interest to make the abbitoirs halal.which also means that when your in sainsburys or tescos you can pick up halal lamb.
This was part of the ongoing debate between hmc and hfa, with hmc only approving un stunned meat (but never stating that unstunned was haram) and hfa. The debate centered on the new halal certification for KFC.
But the debate needs to go farther than that into the realm of Ahl-al Kitab. There is a difference of opinon as to whether todays western countries qualify as the domain o ahl a kitab, Some of the great schoolars such as Bin Baaz and Uthaymeen have ruled that it is permissable to eat meat that has been slaughtered in christian and jewish lands.
There is also a great online ebook that covers the ruling on meat slaughtered in the west that covers the issue of certainty.
Me personally, I believe that uthaymeen and Bin Baaz have the stronger opinon. For me there is no difference between the christians today and the christians at the time of the Prophet when the verse of the Quran was revealed (Al-Ma’ida verse 5) . There where just as many non believers then in christian lands as there are in christian lands today, and they had the same views of eesa then as they do now.
It is also worth understanding the lawful requirments of slaughter in the uk
How is stunning carried out?
When performed correctly, stunning causes an animal to lose consciousness, so that it can’t feel any pain until it is dead. The law states that, with few exemptions, all animals must be stunned before being stuck. Three main methods are used:
Captive bolt stunning
is used on cattle, sheep and some pigs. A gun fires a metal bolt
into the brain of the animal. The bolt does not kill the animal (stop the heart) but, if used correctly, causes the animal to lose consciousness immediately.
is used on sheep, calves and pigs. A large pair of tongs is placed on either side of the animal’s head and an electrical current passed through the brain. Unlike captive bolt stunning, which usually causes irreversible unconsciousness, electrical stunning causes temporary loss of consciousness. With some electrical stunning systems the current is also passed through the heart, so that the animal is both stunned and killed. Poultry may also be stunned by passing them through an electrically-charged water bath (see below).