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Petition to ban "unstunned" slaughter passes 100,000 signatures

Petition to ban "unstunned" slaughter passes 100,000 signatures

Categories: Latest News

Thursday January 29 2015

The Evening Telegraph picks up on the passing of the 100,000 signatures threshold by a petition calling for support for the British Veterinarian Association’s campaign to introduce a full ban on non-stunned slaughter of meat in the UK.

The BVA president elect – John Blackwell – in a Radio 4 Today programme interview last March declared the association’s interest in advocating for a ban saying “We are looking for a meeting of minds to review the evidence base which clearly shows that slaughtering animals without stunning compromises welfare. If that can’t happen then I would like labelling at the point of sale that gives the consumer informed choice. If that is not possible we would be looking for a ban for killing without stunning.”

The petition, which names a number of animal welfare organisations including the BVA, the RSPCA and the Farm Animal Welfare Council, notes that:

  • over 80% of UK Halal slaughter is pre-stunned
  • hindquarters of animals killed by (non-stun) Shechita can enter the market unlabelled

It states, “While non-stun slaughter is permitted we call for clearer slaughter-method labelling and post-cut stunning to improve welfare.

“Non-stun slaughter affects millions of animals. We support a good life and a humane death for all animals.”

Last December, in a debate in the House of Commons, George Eustice MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, referred to the Government’s consideration of new food labelling rules in light of a European Commission study on the issue which is expected to be published shortly.

Eustice noted that labels such as ‘halal’ and ‘kosher’ were not the most genial because of differences in the definitions applied to the terms. He pointed out that an easier method may be labels such as “stunned” and “unstunned” because the European Commission has clear rules on what constitutes “stunning”.

A spokeswoman for DEFRA reiterated the Prime Minister’s declaration that religious slaughter methods would not be circumscribed by a Conservative Government, saying, “There are strict rules that govern the slaughter of animals in England which include additional conditions for religious slaughter and these remain unchanged.

“The Government has no intention of banning religious slaughter.

“The Government would prefer animals to be stunned before slaughter, but we respect the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat in accordance with their beliefs.

The Government’s response is unlikely to appease the animal rights lobby and the signatures garnered to date could force a backbench debate on the issue.


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