Growth in slaughter of non-stunned animals is 'unacceptable'
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Saturday 05 May 2012
A former president of the British Veterinary Association claims that meat producers have increased the number of animals slaughtered according to religious principles, without prior stunning, because it is commercially advantageous for them to do so.
Professor Bill Reilly, a consultant in veterinary public health and former chairman of the UK Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food, said the growth in the slaughter of animals which had not been stunned was "unacceptable" and should be curbed, if not banned.
Citing reports by the Farm Animal Welfare Council and EU-funded Dialrel Project, he said films posted on YouTube "clearly demonstrate the pain and distress of obviously still sentient animals after non-stun slaughter".
Although UK and EU legislation allows for the slitting of animals' throats without prior stunning to enable Muslims and Jews to meet the dietary requirements of their faiths, the rapid increase in the production of halal meat in particular now greatly exceeds the proportion of Muslims in the UK population. The halal share of the UK meat market has grown from 11 per cent in 2001 to 25 per cent today, he said. The Muslim population is estimated at 4.6 per cent.
Writing in Veterinary Record, Professor Reilly said: "Why has there been this growth in demand for halal meat and the proportion that is from non-stunned animals? There may be operational advantages for an abattoir if stunning is not carried out. Other commercial drivers include the convenience of not offering a Halal processing line."
Professor Reilly said Britain was a tolerant society and his complaint had "nothing to do with" the expression of religious belief. "The challenge to society is to enable religious slaughter without compromising animal suffering." That meant reducing to a minimum the number of animals killed without pre-stunning.
Dr Shuja Shafi, deputy general-secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said there had been a "lot of confusion" over Halal meat, which may be stunned before slaughter and still be labelled Halal. "Over 90 per cent of Halal meat is stunned before slaughter," he said.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now'
4Chan 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to be published
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...