UK: Consumers unfazed by halal meat, finds study

The majority of UK consumers are not concerned about the consumption of halal meat, according to a new survey from Canadean.

british meatThe June 2014 study, which surveyed 2,000 British consumers, found that 52% were not concerned, although it also revealed one-third of adults deliberately avoided halal meat-certified products.

Consumers who avoid halal products do so primarily for animal welfare concerns, with many claiming to deliberately avoid products where it was clear the animal had not been stunned prior to slaughter.

Ronan Stafford, senior analyst at Canadean, said: “While this shows the majority of British consumers are happy to consume halal meat, the data does highlight a significant number of consumers who are concerned that the methods of slaughter used for halal meat are not humane.”

The survey also found that half of British consumers think the method of slaughter should be clear on meat packaging. Stafford added: “Consumers want the best-quality meat and, as part of this, they’re increasingly interested in production and slaughter methods. Producers of halal meat therefore need to do more to show that they use a humane slaughter method in order to have the best quality product.”

An EU study is currently under way on labelling and information on the stunning of animals, and the results are due for publication this year. The findings could have an impact on UK labelling policy and Defra is waiting for the research to be finalised before coming to any conclusions on the subject.

The Canadean survey made the following conclusions: “While the majority of consumers aren’t concerned about animal slaughter methods, manufacturers of halal meat could be more transparent, and raise public awareness of their production methods in order to make their product more acceptable.”