Vet outraged by ritually slaughtered meat served at National Conference

Vet outraged by ritually slaughtered meat served at National Conference.

The Australian Veterinary Conference was held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra during May this year. For one vet the conference ran smoothly up to the final day, when a Muslim delegate complained that they were not able to eat the meals because they were not halal. The Management of the National Convention Centre proceeded to reassure the delegate that the National Convention Centre only served halal meat and he could have eaten the meals.

Another delegate, Veterinarian Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith from Whyalla in South Australia overheard the complaint and was listening to the response from the management. He said his initial reaction was to feel sorry for the delegate as he was sure the National Convention Centre would have catered for his religious dietary requirements, if they had known he was attending.

Dr. Melville-Smith said the response from the management of the National Convention Centre left him in a state of shock. “When I heard that I had been served with ritually slaughtered meat (halal), without the food being labelled or being informed that I would be served with halal meat.”  He said

“I was very annoyed.  For me, it spoilt the conference experience. The National Convention Centre proudly advertises “cage free” eggs, organic waste recycling, donating excess food to OzHarvest but nowhere is there a mention of serving halal certified meat.

“This is a National Conference of Veterinarians whose core beliefs and concerns are for animal welfare and we are served ritually slaughtered meat.”

“It is outrageous.”

Dr. Melville-Smith said he had three areas of concern about ritually slaughtered (halal) meat. “Firstly, halal meat has nothing to do with the quality of the meat, its fat content or hygiene.” He said.

“Halal is about religious ritual and observance in relation to meat products.

“To be halal, the Koran says an animal must have its throat slit whilst still alive and conscious (not stunned) to ensure it ‘properly’ bleeds to death.

The Australia Veterinary Associations policy (15.16) on humane slaughter of animals is: “Regardless of religion or cultural beliefs, animals must be humanely rendered unconscious prior to exsanguination.”

“As a veterinary surgeon, the only acceptable method of slaughtering animals for consumption as meat is immediate, irreversible stunning prior to slaughter.”

The RSPCA definition of humane killing is: ‘an animal must be either killed instantly or rendered insensible to pain until death supervenes’. When killing animals for food, this means they must be stunned before slaughter so they immediately become unconscious. The RSPCA policy on ritual slaughter is clear: ‘slaughter without prior stunning is inhumane and completely unnecessary’.

Dr. Melville-Smith said his second concern was that halal meat required the name of Allah to be recited as the animals throat was cut. “Only a Muslim slaughterman may slit the throat of the animal and he must do so whilst facing Mecca and reciting a short prayer: “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar””. He said

“If Australians are being served halal meat without their knowledge or consent, and the meat can only be slaughtered by a Muslim.

“Then this a discriminatory work practice against Australian workers

“And it introduces unwelcome Islamic values and sharia law in Australia.

“The sole scientific basis for ritual slaughter is that Mohammad said it would make Allah happy.”


Dr. Melville-Smith said his final concern was with the certification of halal food. “Halal certification extracts fees from companies (and that now means Australian consumers) which fund the many activities and initiatives of these Islamic organisations that control the certification.” He said

“It is totally unacceptable to impose extra costs on our food, when we are fed halal food, without our knowledge or consent.

“I, like most Australians, do not subscribe to these medieval beliefs and I strongly object to intrusion of Islamic rituals into my food.

“The Muslim community makes up less than 2% of the Australian community, so any food prepared to cater to their religious requirements should be clearly labeled ‘Halal’ .

“The rest of us should be able to assume that their meat is not halal unless clearly labeled to the contrary.

“The fact that the Australian National Convention Centre in Canberra covertly fed Australian vets ritually slaughtered meat, is a disgrace.”


Press release by Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith

Contact: 0429 094 798



The Australian Veterinary Association has been contacted about this issue and the National Communications Manager, Marcia Balzer is looking into this issue.

Phone: 02 9431 5060



The manager of the National Convention Centre in Canberra, Cindy Young has also been contacted about this issue and is looking into it and consulting with the RSPCA.

Phone: 02 6276 5201


A message to those who want to get involved:

The Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria clearly states on its website that milk is already halal (permissable) without a certificate. What a rort then that Parmalat gets it’s many brands of milk certified. Yes milk! These are just some of the brands: Paul’s, Aldi, Best Buy, Coles, Cornett’s, Dairy Farmers, Fabulous, Farmhouse Gold, Family Choice, Food Works, Golden North, Harris Farm, Homebrand, IGA, Maxi, Mooloo, Pure Organic, Rev White Milk, Smarter White – milk , Trim, Woolworths, Physical and Zymil. I find this outrageous.
Guess who certifies it for them – Mohamed El-Moulehy! Yes the guy from Today Tonight (7/3/12) who confessed it has nothing to do with following Islamic (Sharia) Law but rather he does it to get rich! White milk has no flavouring and does not need certification. Please write to them and mention these points and ask them to show some respect by actually answering your questions not just a generic letter.
I’ll be in Melbourne in July. Let me know if you have a group that may be interested in hosting an information session.

6 thoughts on “Vet outraged by ritually slaughtered meat served at National Conference”

  1. Interesting that Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith is (or was?) also a Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Grey.


  2. “Interesting that Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith is (or was?) also a Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Grey.”

    Why is that relevant? I am not a politician, but I am a consumer and I do not want to eat any food that has caused suffering to any animal for any reason, including to human animals (i.e. child labour etc.).

    Religion is a choice; in Australia, as in New Zealand, it should not be above the law. Those who wish to live in Australia or New Zealand should not expect laws to be changed to suit their religion.

    I object to halal killing because it is inhumane and I do not think any animal should be subjected to it. Inhumane slaughter is inhumane slaughter, stop the double standards!

  3. “Those who wish to live in Australia or New Zealand should not expect laws to be changed to suit their religion.”

    Islam & Muslims would strongly disagree with you: the world belongs to allah and all must bow to his will.

    Or else!

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