The slaughterer must be an adult Muslim, and holder of a current slaughtering license accorded by Meat Hygiene Service.
Zibah is the method or the act of slaughter also known as zibah-al-Ikhtiyaariy by which an animal or a bird is slaughtered by a Muslim by saying shahada or tasmiya, Bismillah Allahu Akbar. If the slaughter is not done by zibah method, any meat or derivatives from such carcasses cannot be deemed to be halal or permissible for Muslims to consume. Requirements for zibah are:
- The knife to be used must be razor sharp; the blade must be straight and smooth, and free from any serration, pits, notches or damage. The length of the blade must be at least four times the width of the neck of the animal to be slaughtered. The blade must not flex noticeably whence in use.
- The animal must not be anaesthetised, stunned to be killed or otherwise rendered wholly insensible prior to slaughter. It must be conscious and alive when it is slaughtered.
- Poultry and other birds must be restrained either in an upright or prone position for slaughter.
- Lamb, sheep, goats, calves (of less than 60kg dead weight) and other similar sized animals must be placed on a cradle for slaughter and if hung on shackles all efforts are made that they do not injure or bruise themselves.
- Larger bovines, equines, deer and similar sized animals must be restrained in a standing position for slaughter.
- The act of slaughter (Zibah-al-Ikhtiyaariy) must be done with a simple swipe across the neck. The cut should not be any deeper than necessary to sever the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe and must not sever the spinal cord. The slaughterer must pronounce aloud or under lip the Arabic words, Bismillah, AllahuAkbar (in the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest) in a reverential tone (if possible), when slaughtering. The Jugular vein, windpipe and carotid artery should be cut by a single swipe of a sharp knife, without damage to the spinal cord.
- After being slaughtered, lambs, sheep, goats and other similar sized animals must be restrained in situ for at least 20 seconds. Bovine and other similarly sized animals must be restrained in situ for 60 seconds. Poultry and other birds must not be subjected to any further processing for at least 20 seconds. During the aforementioned period they must not be further injured, nor subjected to unnecessary stress or pain. Indeed it is desirable that efforts are made to clam them during this period.
- The slaughterer must clean the knife after slaughter of every animal or bird and must check that the knife still conforms to above rules. If damaged, the knife must be replaced. If it is no longer razor sharp, it must be sharpened, say, on a flat stone and approved by an HFA inspector before further use. Note that the knife must not be sharpened in sight of animals awaiting slaughter.
- The slaughterer or supervisor must ensure that all the flowing blood has been drained from the chicken or ovine or bovine carcass.
- The water used during the poultry de-feathering process must be at the lowest practical temperature in vogue.
- No dorsal cut is allowed, since this method would slice or sever the spinal cord and the bird or the animal is rendered incapacitated to convulse to drain the flowing blood out of the carcass
- At the abattoir, slaughterhouse, distribution centre and retail outlets, DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Meat Hygiene Services (MHS), European Union (EU) and local hygiene laws and regulations should always be adhered to, and strictly followed at every stage of the process.