Halal and Kosher Meat - ban ritual slaughter and the import of products containing this meat
It is against the law to cause an animal unnecessary suffering and animals in the UK are required to be stunned prior to slaughter. There is an exemption granted in the case of religious slaughter. This exemption is abused and up to 80% of the meat from animals killed with no prior stunning is sold unmarked onto the open market. The profits from this subsidise the cost of the whole practice. The exemption should be removed and the law requiring all animals to be stunned prior to slaughter should be enforced. The government should prevent the import of goods containing meat from animals slaughtered without prior stunning.
We need legislation to enforce clear labelling on meat /meat products indicating if halal/kosher methods used in slaughter. Most people do not realise that they are supporting these barbaric and unacceptable methods. Waitrose for example admitted that ALL their lamb is halal (apart from premium brands like Duchy Originals) because they can then sell the carcass on after removing the prime cuts. This is common practice within the industry. WHY SHOULD WE BE MADE TO EAT HALAL/KOSHER MEAT BY DEFAULT? WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE BUYING . LET CONSUMERS CHOOSE. Why is the Government so reluctant to make these changes to food labelling? The powerful supermarket lobby are naturally against this - they know if the majority of people are given a choice they will put animal welfare issues first - and this will hugely reduce the purchase of halal/kosher meat after all it is only a small % who buy these products by choice. Carolyn
Kester Ratcliff commented
"85% of Halal meat is now pre-stunned" - I mean, IN THE UK.
Rest of the world probably much lower proportion.
Kester Ratcliff commented
The animal welfare issue is actually slaughter without pre-stunning, there's no need to frame it as "banning religious slaughter".
85% of Halal meat is now pre-stunned, because the Islamic scholars realised that the traditional theological interpretation that pre-stunning was not allowable was mistaken. Actually most of what the Quran and Haditha have to say about slaughtering is concerned with making it as humane as possible - and it probably was as humane as possible 1400yrs ago, but not anymore!
Also, the definition of "death" has changed - the standard definition of 'death' only became 'irrecoverable disruption or cessation of activity in the central brain stem' in the middle of last century, in order to make heart transplants legal. Likewise, 'death' in the Talmud must have meant heart death, because they couldn't possibly have measured or even conceived of 'brain death' in the modern sense then.
So even if a quarter of animals pre-stunned have irrecoverable brain stem damage from the stunning and are 'dead' in the modern sense before they're bled out, they are still not 'dead' in the old sense of stopping the heart, and therefore the meat is not 'carrion' in the sense of it having been dead' before it was bled out.
Also, even if the heart stops due to pre-stunning, the blood drains out because of gravity not because of the heart beating. There is no measurable difference between the amount of blood remaining in a carcass that has been suspended to bleed out whether its heart stopped before being bled out or not.
Inverted restraint is actually even more serious than sticking (cutting the arteries) without pre-stunning. There is no excuse that could conceivably justify inverted restrain before slitting an animal's throat. It is a bizarre interpretation of Talmud and based on totally false assumptions about the way blood drains out of a carcass.
The resistance is actually more from Kosher authorities, about schechita.
The representative on R4 this morning sounded more like a PR man who knew nothing about the subject and assumed just denying the evidence in a slow pompous voice would convince most people. Unfortunately, he's probably right about that.
BBC as per its usual bl**dy ridiculous interpretation of 'balance' repeated the anti-stunning Kosher and Halal authorities claim that there is equivocal evidence about the welfare implications of pre-stunning. The claimed counter-evidence is not in peer-reviewed, reputable journals, it is the opinions of a few cranks, who're confused about what kind of 'death' they're measuring, and base their claims that bleeding out without pre-stunning is painless on traditional assumptions not on any evidence.
S Adams commented
32009R1099 Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing
(15) Protocol No (33) underlines the need to respect the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating, in particular, to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage when formulating and implementing the Community’s policies on, inter alia, agriculture and the internal market. It is therefore appropriate to exclude from the scope of this Regulation cultural events, where compliance with animal welfare requirements would adversely affect the very nature of the event concerned.
S Adams commented
There are no EU provisions concerning the labelling of meat to identify the method of slaughter.
You may be eating this inhumane meat without knowing it, write to your supermarket and ask them how their supply of meat is slaughtered. sign the petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47583
I agree wholeheartedly - this is supposed to be civilised 2012.....
Adrian Crampton commented
This arcane practice should be outlawed. Muslims are permitted to eat non-halal meat if there is no available alternative
There is a government consultation pending on this issue so it is really important to raise the profile of this barbaric and unnecessary suffering. Pressuring for a ban is ideal, but at the very least legislating on clear labelling so consumers realise just how much secular meat was killed in this way would be a start.
Many Muslims condemn this horrific practice and it was instigated as 'at the time' it was one of the slightly more humane methods rather than being hacked to pieces alive. The terror and pain these creatures go through must be incredible.
There is an article today (5/05/2012) in The Telegraph re this- the retired ex President of the BVA speaks out against these religious slaughter practices.
Have posted this link to the DT comments pages and hopefully more people might sign up. The e- petitions link is also posted there now too. Absolutely agree these practices should be banned totally in the UK.
disgusting-we are supposed to be a civilised country-this is barbaric and we should not allow it under any circumstances-
Zoe Bremer commented
I agree entirely. There is no excuse for this to continue. I note that the Jewish Vegetarian Society is very successful but there is no Muslim equivalent as yet.
Here is the petition on the Number 10 website to Ban Religious Slaughter in the UK.
Please sign and share it. If we get to 100,000 the Government have no choice to debate it. It will also mean it gets the attention of National Newspapers and make more people aware of the immoral acts. Thus a snow ball of support will occur.
Next month the Dutch parliament is expected to approve a ban on halal and kosher methods of slaughtering animals for food.
All slaughterhouses are vicious and horrific but none more so than Halal or kosher slaughterhouses. It is not right that repeated recommendations from the Farm Animals welfare council, asking to ban ritual slaughter have been ignored by the government. Schools, hospitals etc now provide Halal because we are in the control of total cowards who have no interest in protecting Britain's interests and standards. Please give up meat and dairy for all animals sakes including our own.
No exemption for this barbaric method of slaughter. Also the stun to immobilse method is just as bad. There is overproduction of this meat in the UK and supermarkets are selling it on unlabelled because there is no law that makes them label it. We have been sold out !!
Irene Holt commented
There should be NO exemptions for any religion,cult,nationality or creed.We in the UK have anti cruelty laws to save all animals fom unnecessry suffering.There is no reason on this earth which justifies these laws being ignored by anyone.NO EXEMPTIONS!!!!!!!!!
Jacky Mcleod commented
And when they say that they "stun" the animals they mean "stun to immobilise" only (not render unconscious, and the form used is actually illegal.
Organisations like Shechita UK actively campaign and lobby MPs and MEPs in order to ensure that this meat remains unlabelled. They actually go so far as to admit that the reason they want to keep it this way is that they know the general public would refuse to eat it and with no market other than the religious one the price would increase drastically to make the industry sustainable. That, in a nutshell, is what the big issue is.
Grumpy old man commented
The RSPCA should be stricken as legal prosecutors as they have consistently ignored Halal and Kosher meat production and the cruelty that the animals suffer. The non Muslims and non Jews in the UK should have the right to have meat products from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with the laws of the UK.