Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based television network which in the past aired images of mutilated bodies and other horrors of war, has decided not to air a 30-second TV spot from People for the Ethical Treatment (PETA) containing video footage of atrocities committed against Australian sheep which are raised for wool and later shipped alive to the Middle East for slaughter. The footage shows lambs who are partially skinned alive during a procedure called “mulesing,” sheep which are repeatedly kicked as they are loaded onto “death ships” and sheep who are dragged and kicked in the head as their throats are slit in full view of other sheep.
The ad includes a narration of the following quote by the late Imam B.A. Hafiz al-Masri of the Shah Jehan Mosque located in Woking, UK: "If animals have been subjected to cruelties in their breeding, transport, slaughter, or in their general welfare, meat from them is considered impure and unlawful to eat (haram). The flesh of animals killed by cruel methods (Al-Muthiah) is carrion (Al-Mujathamadh). Even if these animals have been slaughtered in the strictest manner, if cruelties were inflicted on them otherwise, their flesh is still forbidden food (haram)."
“Mulesing” is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to cut skin and flesh from lambs’ backsides – without painkillers – in a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist. Millions of Australian sheep are shipped to the Middle East through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste aboard open-decked ships. Many sick and injured sheep are thrown overboard to the sharks or ground up alive in mincing machines.
“Since Australian sheep are haram on the grounds of cruelty to animals, we call on people in the Middle East to consider whether importing live sheep from Australia is in accordance with Islamic law”, says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk.
PETA urged Al-Jazeera to reconsider accepting the ad, which is part of PETA’s international campaign calling for a boycott of Australian wool until mulesing and live exports are stopped.