UK: Call for the defence of Halal and religious slaughter

HMC Press Release

New Halal Legislation is being planned for implementation in the UK by January 2013 and is currently undergoing ‘consultation’. This follows amendments to the European Legislation Law 1099 issued earlier this year. These new laws pose some of the biggest threats to the continuance of Halal in a generation. It is time for the Muslim community to sit up and pay attention.

Week after week, articles are being published calling for the ban of religious slaughter or restricting the production of religious slaughter (both kosher and Halal). These are being voiced by various groups including, Animal Welfare lobbies, Christian far right, veterinarians, secularist groups and the tabloid press.Watch carefully as story after story is released often carrying mis-information aimed at demonising the Halal brand and the religious needs of the 3 million+ Muslims in this country. Biased views and the threat of Islam are being used to justify the indefensible.

HMC says it is time to wake up to this threat and be counted.

The latest attack came from a leading vet Bill Reilly who criticised religious slaughter on Saturday 5th May and the timing seems very deliberate as the Government prepares its consultation papers on the new EU Legislation 1099, due at the end of this month.

HMC, which has been at the forefront of protecting Halal and the prophetic method of religious slaughter calls upon the Muslim community to unite and defend the prophetic method of slaughter and be prepared to respond to the consultation paper due out at the end of the May.

The Legislation draft we expect, will undoubtedly carry unbalanced laws aimed at making religious slaughter more difficult, possibly limiting its production and increasing costs for the Halal industry. They are promoted under the banner of animal welfare, but they are purely there to carry the biased views being promoted by various groups telling Muslims how we should produce and eat Halal!

Stunning is being promoted, yet many methods of stunning which were promoted as best welfare for animals over the past 20 years are now being phased out due to being cruel. In fact some stunning methods that are described as cruel by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and have been recommended to be phased out have been ignored by the European Commission citing economic reasons! “Recommendations to phase out the use of carbon dioxide for pigs and the use of waterbath stunners for poultry are not included in this Regulation because the impact assessment revealed that such recommendations were not economically viable at present in the EU”.

The prophetic method remains the most humane method of slaughter and for the majority of Muslims an absolute requirement for the observance of their faith. Many Western countries including the United States recognise this method as humane in statute. Muslims and Jews believe that their method of slaughter when done properly with good standards is better than any other method available.

Labelling non-stunned meat and poultry

There are also strong calls from many quarters to label un-stunned meat and poultry. Although, HMC is in favour of labelling in principle, we feel the current calls are bias towards demonising un-stunned slaughter, rather than being in the interests of consumers.

Of course, every consumer has a right to know what they are eating, and therefore HMC calls on fair and impartial labelling, through the labelling of all meat and poultry and not only un-stunned. Let us label meat that has been shot with a captive bolt gun, gassed, electrocuted, drowned or mis-stunned, and then we can also label un-stunned, giving real information to consumers.