Lancasihre, MINA – The practice of not stunning animals before slaughtering them was described by council leader Geoff Driver as ‘abhorrent’ and ‘really cruel’. A total of 27 council-run schools will stop serving the meat with calls for further discussions with Jewish and Muslim groups being rejected.
From December, the schools will only serve stunned halal beef and lamb. Lancashire County Council voted by 41 to 24 against, with 15 abstentions, Metro.uk reported.
Councillors are going to consult with the county’s council of mosques over unstunned chicken, as some Muslims are concerned that stunning kills the animals, the meeting heard.
The council leader reportedly wanted to show videos of cattle being slaughtered to back his point but thought it would be too ‘gory’.
Labour leader, Councillor Azhar Ali had an amendment rejected to defer the halal meat debate until December to give the council time to discuss plans with Jewish and Muslim groups. Conservative Mr Driver said he believed three councillors who had previously looked at this issue were biased by their faith. But Labour councillor Mohammed Iqbal, who is Muslim, said these remarks made him “very unhappy”.
He added it caused “offence to him and his faith”, which led Mr Driver to apologise, saying he had no intention of causing offence.
Halal food has been prepared according to Islamic Law Dhabihah, which involves a ritual slaughter, killing the animal through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe. Animals are alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and afterwards, all blood is drained from the carcass.
During the process, a dedication is recited, know as tasmiya or shahada. Stunning cannot be used to kill an animal, according to the Halal Food Authority (HFA), a non-profit organisation that monitors adherence to halal principles.(R/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)