“The real issue is whether the animals were slaughtered without pre-slaughter stunning.”
This week’s big news is that some UK restaurants and supermarkets are supplying Halal meat without informing consumers. To me, the issue is not whether the meat is Halal or not, but whether the animals were killed in a humane manner – with pre-slaughter stunning.
This was my message across the media, including on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and BBC News 24, where I asked, are we going to treat animals humanely or not? When animals are killed without stunning, the science shows that they suffer extreme pain, distress and anxiety.
I have absolute respect for religious beliefs. As up to 90% of animals killed for Halal purposes in Britain are already being slaughtered with pre-stunning, it shows that the practice is already widely accepted within the Muslim community. We should therefore make it illegal across the board for animals to be slaughtered without pre-slaughter stunning.
As an interim measure, I am calling for all meat to be labelled according to slaughter method. But the real need is for Government to have the courage to close the loophole that allows exemptions on pre-slaughter stunning for religious purposes. The UK is behind the curve as several European countries have already taken this step.
You can help the campaign by signing the British Veterinary Association’s petition calling for it to be stopped in the UK.
As ever, thank you for your support.