APPG to explore ‘new’ religious slaughter technique
Categories: Latest News
Thursday August 28 2014
The London Evening Standard and the Times reports that the All Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb is to trial a new slaughter technique ‘in experiments to satisfy halal meat consumers’.
The Times reports that the APPG “want to persuade Muslims that slaughter techniques in British abattoirs can be consistent with their religious beliefs.”
The experiment, according to The Times, will see animals stunned but not killed by the method so that when a blade is put to the throat of the animal it will still be alive. The trial is an attempt to mediate in the dispute arising from a campaign by the British Veterinarian Association to see all animals stunned before slaughter.
The Times headlines its article ‘Animals to be stunned and revived in halal experiment’ and the Evening Standard goes with ‘MPs want new slaughter ways for halal meat’.
The Times further notes that ‘some Muslims refuse to accept the practice [stunning], resulting in hundreds of thousands of animals a week having their throats cut while conscious’.
In neither article is there any mention that the cutting method is also used by British Jews for kosher meat. The articles display a singular focus on halal meat despite the stunning method being used in the slaughter of the bulk of meat used for halal consumption.
The articles also overlook the fact that the APPG acknowledged in its report on religious slaughter that shechita (or kosher) slaughter is permitted in the United States of America as a humane form of slaughter and research at the University of Hanover in Germany has supported religious slaughter as a humane method.
In its inquiry earlier this year, the APPG made it clear that it was exploring whether pain was experienced by animals without stunning in comparison to stunned animals and whether alternative stunning methods could be used.
Moreover, according to figures published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2012, a survey of slaughterhouses showed that the number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter for both kosher and halal meat only accounted for 3% of cattle, 10% of sheep and goats and 4% of poultry.
The APPG report further recognised the sensationalist media reporting on the issue. It is particularly disappointing to see that the newspapers have paid no heed to these concerns.