Kosher and halal groups work together as MPs’ move to limit non-stun slaughter

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Kosher and halal groups work together as MPs’ move to limit non-stun slaughter

Jewish News understands there is co-operation between Shechita UK and officials connected to the Muslim Council of Britain and the Halal Monitoring Committee

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Kosher meat on a shelf in a deli
Kosher meat on a shelf in a deli

Leading figures in the kosher and halal food industries have launched a co-ordinated campaign to fight moves from a group of MPs to limit non-stun animal slaughter in the UK.

Jewish News understands there is co-operation between Shechita UK and officials connected to the Muslim Council of Britain and the Halal Monitoring Committee on providing a unified response to the proposals.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Sir Roger Gale, a former vice chair of the Tory Party and Chris Loder, the MP for West Dorset., confirmed they were backing moves to reduce non-stun slaughter, which is required by the rules of both faiths.

The MPs, who have received support from some government ministers, are also calling for the labelling of all kosher and halal produce sold to consumers in the UK.

During the second reading of the Animal Welfare Bill on Monday, Loder confirmed to the Commons that he would be bringing an amendment, which would outline proposals to cut the amount of meat produced using non-stun slaughter methods in the UK.

Sir Roger – a leading figure within the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, who are backing the proposals – confirmed he would “certainly” support the amendment.

He told the Commons: “There is a case for much greater regulation of non-stunned slaughtered animals – because we know perfectly well that vast amounts of kosher and halal meat are produced not for the British market even, but for export.” This is disputed by the kosher meat industry.

The government has provided several assurances to both Jewish and Muslim communal leaders that it would protect kosher and halal food. But there is concern with Muslim and Jewish communities about the groundswell of support for the proposals.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs said: “The government would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter but we respect the rights of Jewish and Muslim people to eat meat prepared in accordance with their beliefs.”

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