Religious butchering now commonplace in Britain, leading vet claims
From The Telegraph
Non-Muslim Britons are being forced to eat animals slaughtered in "appalling" pain because religious butchering is becoming so common, a former chief vet has claimed.
Prof Bill Reilly, ex-president of the British Veterinary Association, said cutting the throats of lambs, chickens and other animals without stunning them breaches legal requirements because it causes significant pain, fear and distress. British and EU law permits the method of religious slaughter to account for Muslim and Jewish dietary practices, but stipulates that the animals must not be caused "unnecessary suffering."
Prof Reilly called for the practice to be dramatically curbed, suggesting that some slaughterhouses are refusing to stun animals simply to cut costs, rather than for religious reasons. Writing in the Veterinary Record, he said the number of animals having their throats slit while still fully conscious – a practice known as non-stun slaughter – was "unacceptable".
A quarter of all meat on the British market is now killed according to the non-stun Halal principle despite the fact the Muslim community makes up only three to four per cent of the British population.
The figures mean that much of the meat from non-stunned animals is being consumed outside the religious communities which require it, and most secular people would avoid eating the meat if they knew the circumstances under which the animals died, Prof Teilly said.
He wrote: "In my view, the current situation is not acceptable and, if we cannot eliminate non-stunning, we need to keep it to the minimum. This means restricting the use of Halal and Kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs, and where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives."
Posted on 05/05/2012 2:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax