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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Emma B BS: Halal Meat on sale in the UK (98* d) RE: BS: Halal Meat on sale in the UK 03 Oct 10

Shechita and Halal slaughter has been an emotional issue in Europe for some time

In the UK
"The requirement in British legislation for the pre stunning of animals in slaughterhouses has ALWAYS provided exemptions for the Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughter"
From the House of Commons Library - last updated 23 September 2010

In Germany post 1880 the Tierschutz ('animal welfare') movement protested shechita and although this met with little support it was subsequently embraced by the Nazis; laws established after 1933 put substantial restrictions on the practice
The Nazi conquests of Poland and other regions and countries saw the extension of their ban on Jewish and Islam methods of slaughter Benito Mussolini likewise forbade it in Italy.
The Allied governments lifted these bans, together with other race laws, after the liberation of Europe in 1945.

In the UK the far-right National Front party campaigned against religious slaughter

"All the Jews have to do is stop this barbaric and torturous murder of defenceless animals. When they cease the slaughter the NF will cease its campaign. Until then the NF campaign for animal welfare will continue"

Its successor the BNP renewed its opposition to Jewish and Islamic ritual slaughter by publishing
"Halal and kosher ritual slaughter of fully conscious animals is a barbaric affront to the British tradition of livestock"

Currently shecita and Halal slaughter is prohibited in Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, and Norway

mauvepink posts
"The 'experts' need to do more research - good research - and get the actual facts of which is the most humane because they all seem split on it too."

In fact this is exactly what is happening

The DIALREL (Dialogue on Religious Slaughter)
project was set up from October 2006 until Summer 2010

Its full title is -
Religious slaughter, improving knowledge and expertise through dialogue and debate on issues of welfare, legislation and socio-economic aspects

Dr Joe. Regenstein is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Institute of Food Science at Cornell University and head of the Cornell Kosher and Halal Food Initiative. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

There is an informative interview with him for the (Association de Sensibilisation, d'Information et de Défense de Consommateurs Musulmans) in which he suggests some organizations are

" using the inherent Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia of Europe as a way to get support for their agenda"

"Ironically, throughout history Europe had some of the highest levels of cruelty to animals and misuse of animals, including fox hunting and bullfighting"

He refers to the US position
"At the state level we are seeing a move to religious supervision requirements that meet « truth in labeling » and « consumer right-to-know » approach."

From "A life worth living"

In April 2008, the Food and Farming minister in the United Kingdom, Lord Rooker, stated that halal and kosher meat should be labeled when it is put on sale, so that members of the public can decide whether or not they want to buy food from animals slaughtered by this method which he personally objected to

However the original post complained that
"TESCO and ASDA now have halal meat counters in some of their stores"
- So, presumably the initial complaint was about the actual production and sale of halal meat rather than labelling?

i.e. "We're now allowing animals to be killed in the halal way in the UK. I think this is very, very wrong"

"The RSPCA allow this to happen because they have now insisted all animals killed in this way are 'stunned' first."

As regards the RSPCA position on current legislation (they are not actually the legislators!) this is clearly explained in detail on their fact sheet "Religious slaughter" which points out that about 90% of Halal slaughter involved pre stunning and reinforces its view that pre stunning is essential to humane slaughter

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