Ex-slaughterman's action threatens meat industry

www.stuff.co.nz - 07 December 2008 - From Ian Steward

A Muslim slaughterman's attempts to discredit the New Zealand meat industry have drawn the attention of the country's spy service.

Meat Industry Association members said they were contacted by the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) this week after Ahmed Ghanem, an Egyptian-born halal slaughterman now living in Christchurch, published articles on a British website decrying New Zealand slaughter methods as inhumane and contrary to Islamic practice.

Ghanem said he and other anti-stunning activists in the Muslim world had successfully sought a fatwa, or religious ruling, from senior clerics condemning the practice.

Meat industry figures in New Zealand have called Ghanem a "troublemaker".

They fear his comments could affect the multimillion-dollar industry, particularly in the Gulf states, where New Zealand has extensive markets.

Meat Industry Association management support officer Michael Pran said Ghanem could provoke Muslim states such as Malaysia and Indonesia to send inspectors to review New Zealand methods.

"He could scare people and that could harm the industry," he said. "The SIS are on his case. They are looking at it as well."

The SIS could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Its website lists "protecting New Zealand from threats to our international and economic wellbeing" as one of its tasks.

Ghanem's essay, published online at unstunnedhalal.com said New Zealand methods, which involve stunning animals with (...)