A petition demanding a ban on all un-stunned animal slaughter now has more than 100,000 signatures, but the British government still insists it has “no intention” of banning shecita or halal slaughter anyway, the Daily Mail reported. Only religious slaughter – primarily Muslim halal slaughter and Jewish kosher slaughter known as “shechita” – are currently exempt from British law that mandates that animals be stunned or sedated just before slaughter to minimize their suffering.
Animal Welfare Petition Calling For Ban On All Un-Stunned Slaughter Rockets To Top Of All Government Petitions, But British Government Says It Won’t Listen Anyway, Won’t Ban Shechita Or Halal
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A petition demanding a ban on all un-stunned animal slaughter now has more than 100,000 signatures, but the British government still insists it has “no intention” of banning shecita or halal slaughter anyway, the Daily Mail reported.
Only religious slaughter – primarily Muslim halal slaughter and Jewish kosher slaughter known as “shechita” – are currently exempt from British law that mandates that animals be stunned or sedated just before slaughter to minimize their suffering.
Head of the British Veterinary Association, John Blackwell, vowed to continue fighting for the ban. He warned government ministers they “simply cannot ignore the strength of public feeling” for animal welfare and the public’s anger that ministers have not passed a bill that would mandate labeling all meat as either stunned before slaughter or as not stunned before slaughter so the public can choose which meat they would prefer to buy.
Excess halal and kosher slaughter is sold as non-halal and non-kosher meat to the general public without labeling. This misleads members of the public, animal welfare activists argue.
Animal welfare campaigners will reportedly now work to bring about a new House of Commons debate on after quickly exceeding 100,000 threshold so required on the parliamentary petition website.
Animal welfare activists say they respect the various faith traditions that would be impacted. However, they believe animal welfare supersedes them, especially because there is clear scientific evidence showing that animals killed without stunning suffer.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the Humane Slaughter Association all have called for a ban on un-stunned slaughter.
More than 80% of halal meat in the UK is pre-stunned, according to the petition – meaning the impact of the proposed ban on the Muslim community would be minimal.
No kosher slaughter is pre-stunned, however, and rabbis have be reluctant to do anything to improve the shechita process, despite there being room within halakha (Orthodox Jewish law) to do so.
Instead, the haredi community’s pro-shechita mouthpiece, Shechita UK, has repeatedly lied about the scientific evidence and the facts while accusing opponents of everything from a bizarrely myopic focus on mere animals to anti-Semitism.
The petition tries to separate religion from animal welfare.
“We must differentiate between religious and non-stun slaughter. Our concern does not relate to religious belief but to the animal welfare compromise. Non-stun slaughter affects millions of animals. We support a good life and a humane death for all animals,” it reads.
“This is a truly fantastic result for animal welfare. 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. Consumers value the high welfare of British produce and care deeply about the provenance of their food. But under the current legislation meat from non-stun slaughter can end up in the food chain unlabelled as such, which is completely unacceptable,” the BVA’s president, John Blackwell reportedly said.
“Scientific evidence tells us that non-stun slaughter allows the animal to perceive pain and compromises animal welfare. This is an issue that affects the welfare of millions of individual animals every year. The Government simply cannot ignore the strength of public feeling and we look forward to petitioning the Backbench Business Committee for a full debate in the new parliament,’ Blackwell continued.
But the government seemed completely unmoved, even though the petition reached the 100,000 faster than all but a tiny fraction of petitions, and now has more signatures than all but 0.1% of all petitions accepted through the government’s website.
“The Government has no intention of banning religious slaughter. The Government would prefer animals to be stunned before slaughter, but we respect the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat in accordance with their beliefs,” a spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reportedly said.