Is Kangaroo on the Menu?: While Kangaroo meat may not be on the menu, it is certainly in the list of halal animals.

by Dr. Najeeb Zada  

According to some latest news, the Australians are worried about the increasing number of Kangaroos in the country. The people have been asked to increase their consumption of Kangaroo’s meat which are numbered at about 45 million, almost double the population of the country. An alarming increase in kangaroo population has been reported during the last few years and it is indeed a cause of worry for the authorities and rightly so. However, very few in the global halal industry may have thought about kangaroo as a profitable addition to the list of halal meat.

According to all the fatwas we could browse through about the Shariah status of Kangaroo meat, it is definitely halal. According to Shariah principles, the meat of a particular animal may be impermissible due to reasons like: being poisonous, preying on other animals, or mostly consuming impure things. However, all kangaroos are herbivores meaning that they eat only plants, just like goats, sheep, cows and buffalos and camels etc. eat the same. It not only makes its meat very healthy and nutritious but renders it halal from Shariah point of view as well. For instance, the prominent Shariah scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani states about the permissibility of Kangaroo that: Kangaroo is a halal animal because there is no basis for its prohibition. The only condition is that it should be slaughtered with all necessary conditions of Islamic slaughtering. This position brings us to the next point: what is the potential for Kangaroo to be a competitive halal meat item for the Muslim consumers?

According to some studies, Kangaroo is not a favorite food item even for the Australians which is the home place of this animal. This is quite surprising because the meat of Kangaroo is healthy and delicious at the same time. Therefore, it needs to be investigated before embarking on the venture of propagating Kangaroo as the next item in the menu for Muslim consumers as to why it is not the first option for the Australians. It may be due to the fact that it is Australia’s national animal and carries a specific national sensitivity. Likewise, it needs to be explored whether Muslims around the globe would accept its meat (on the basis of its taste which will be new for them) because they have never been used to it in their life before? It should also be born in mind that currently Australia is the only home to Kangaroos and any attempt to promote Kangaroo meat as a priority food item for more than 1.5 billion Muslims globally would mean: (1) either exporting its meat from Australia which may be costly or (2) developing farms where this animal can be brought up; a process which may be time consuming and costly both.

In any case, the potential for its meat as a halal food item is tremendous. Due to Kangaroo’s overabundance in Australia, due to its meat being nutritious, and due to the fact that Muslims like meat and Muslim countries are currently among the top meat importers in the world, those involved in the halal industry need to give  serious consideration to the idea of adding Kangaroo as a favorite food item for Muslim consumers. It is no wonder that the market for kangaroo as a delicious and halal product is currently almost non-existent in the Muslim world and anyone embarking on this initiative will have to overcome a great number of challenges as well as reap the limitless fruits and benefits of this novel idea.