UK ministers reject call to ban ‘halal’ slaughter
Vets chief said the government can’t ignore the strength of public feeling and vowed to press for a fresh debate on the issue
The British government said it had “no intention” to ban the religious slaughtering of animals despite a petition that has attracted more than 100.000 backers, UK’s Daily Mail reported Saturday.
Traditionally, for Muslims and Jews, slaughter practices involve animals having their throats slit and the blood drained because it is “humane.”
Animals must be conscious when killed for the meat to be kosher under Jewish law and halal under Islamic law.
In reaction to the minister's the rejection, vets chief and president of British Veterinary Association (BVA) John Blackwell said that the ministers can’t “ignore the strength of public feeling" and vowed to press for a fresh debate on the issue.
“BVA has long argued that all animals should be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain and we are delighted that the British public has got so firmly behind our campaign,” Blackwell said.
“Consumers value the high welfare of British produce and care deeply about the provenance of their food,” he said.
“But under the current legislation meat from non-stun slaughter can end up in the food chain unlabeled as such, which is completely unacceptable,” he added.
Meanwhile, other opponents to the announcement said in a petition that they respect the various faith traditions but insist animal welfare must take priority.
“We must differentiate between religious and non-stun slaughter. Our concern does not relate to religious belief but to the animal welfare compromise,' it states,” the petition said.
“Non-stun slaughter affects millions of animals. We support a good life and a humane death for all animals,” it said.
In March, Blackwell had called for the outlaw of halal and kosher slaughter of animals.