By Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent, The Telegraph
Stuart Agnew MEP, the party’s agricultural spokesman, had tried to persuade the party to allow stunning as long as kosher and halal meat is labelled.
However the party’s national executive committee voted rejected the plans, which means it is the first political party to back a ban on non-stun slaughter.
The move had been advocated by animal rights groups including the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association.
It was announced as MPs in the House of Commons debated whether CCTV cameras should be installed in all abattoirs to cut down on instances of cruelty.
Food Standards Agency figures indicate that kosher and halal abattoirs collectively cut the throats of 2.4 million sheep and goats without stunning them.
Mr Agnew, the party’s agricultural spokesman, told the Jewish Chronicle newspaper: “We are a democratic party and I couldn’t get enough support. They didn’t like my tolerance of non-stunning.
“They have decided to override me on this occasion. I’m not going to say they were wrong.”
Mr Agnew said he believed that the policy was put forward to win votes ahead of the general election.
He said: “There are more votes to be gained, and I expect that’s what they were looking for.
“We’ll have lost the Jewish vote for sure, they won’t support us now for sure – we won’t get any now.
“But we might gain votes elsewhere – and that’s what they’re after, general election votes.” He added: “It’s an emotional issue.”
Number 10 said David Cameron, the Prime Minister, backed non-stun slaughter but said that it was right to prosecute lawbreakers.
The news came after one worker at a halal slaughterhouse was sacked and three more suspended after hidden cameras were used to film the alleged mistreatment of lambs.