Jewish leaders ‘troubled’ by Lancashire council’s shechita ban in schools

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Jewish leaders ‘troubled’ by Lancashire council’s shechita ban in schools

Board of Deputies VP concerned by the authority's recent decision to stop non-mechanically stunned meat from entering schools

Kosher slaughter
Kosher slaughter

Jewish representatives in London and Manchester have said they are “troubled” by the “dismissive attitude” of the leader of Lancashire County Council following its recent decision to ban non-mechanically stunned meat from schools.

Geoff Driver, 72, met a delegation from the Board of Deputies, Shechita UK and the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester this week to discuss the move, which has led to disquiet among both Jewish and Muslim communities.

It follows a council vote in late October to ban schools from serving non-stunned meat, with Driver describing it as “abhorrent” and “cruel”. Lancashire currently supplies 27 schools with non-stunned meat, mostly halal, catering for 12,000 children who are served 1.2 million meals every year.

Following the meeting, Board vice-president Marie van der Zyl said Driver “refused to see the danger of his assertion that Jewish and Muslim councillors could not be objective because of their faiths”.

She said Driver “also stood by polarising and divisive language that can only harm community relations,” and that she would “continue to work with colleagues to protect our community’s rights”.

She added: “Our elected representatives should be taking a lead on how to treat others with respect. Councillor Driver has failed to do that on this occasion.”

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