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Religious slaughter and "dog whistle politics"

Religious slaughter and "dog whistle politics"

Categories: Latest News

Monday February 16 2015

BBC News reports on a hot potato that looks set to become a special interest issue in the coming election: religious slaughter.

After UKIP waded in a couple of weeks ago to back a ban on religious slaughter, the issue is slowly edging to the fore to the deep consternation of Muslim and Jewish voters.

With several newspapers prominently covering the issue and others taking a position on it, Caroline Wyatt at the BBC explores the question “should ritual slaughter be banned in the UK?”

She pointedly notes the abuse of the issue for electoral gain by far right parties stating “opposition to those methods of slaughter would also seem to have become dog whistle politics: shorthand for targeting a specific religious minority – Muslims – without saying as much.”

In UKIP’s case, the targeting of Muslims as a minority group has been overtly expressed with MEP Stewart Agnew claiming that the party’s support for a ban was not directed at British Jews but “aimed elsewhere”.

While the petition supporting a ban on unstunned slaughter gathers pace for a parliamentary debate on the issue next week, it is a subject that is unlikely to fade as the election draws closer and animal rights activists look to political parties to address their concerns about animal welfare and Muslim and Jewish voters look to the mainstream parties to uphold the exemption in law protecting religious slaughter and minority rights.

One thing both camps can agree on, as Wyatt points out, is concern for humane slaughter of animals and the installation of CCTV in slaughterhouses to deter those who would abuse their position.


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