UK GOV’T REJECTS CALL TO BAN HALAL SLAUGHTER

(Photo: On Islam)
(Photo: On Islam)

London, 17 Jumadil Awwal 1436/8 March 2015 (MINA) – Amid increasing campaigns against halal meet in the UK, the British government said it had “no intention” to ban the religious slaughtering of animals for Muslims and Jews, despite a petition that has attracted more than 100.000 backers.

“There are strict rules that govern the slaughter of animals in England which include additional conditions for religious slaughter and these remain unchanged,” a spokeswoman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told Daily Mail.

“The Government has no intention of banning religious slaughter,” On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

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Defra comments followed the launch of a petition demanding an outright ban on slaughtering animals without stunning them first. The petition, which attracted more than 100,000 backers, was rejected by the government which insisted it still had ‘no intention’ of outlawing 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,” Defra spokeswoman said.

“Existing rules require that where stunning is used it must be sufficient to make the animal unconscious and insensible to pain without causing unnecessary pain, suffering or distress.”

In reaction to the minister’s the rejection, vets chief and president of British Veterinary Association (BVA) John Blackwell said that the ministers can’t “ignore the strength of public feeling” and vowed to press for a fresh debate on the issue.

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“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,” Blackwell said.

“Consumers value the high welfare of British produce and care deeply about the provenance of their food,” he said.

“But under the current legislation meat from non-stun slaughter can end up in the food chain unlabeled as such, which is completely unacceptable,” he added.

Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million. The concept of halal, — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.

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Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned. Muslim scholars agree that Shari`ah provides a divine law of mercy that should be applied on all Allah’s creations, including animals.

Islam also provides details about avoiding any unnecessary pain. (T/P011/R03)

 

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)