Welfare Central to Halal

Animal welfare is a top
priority for the UK halal meat industry, a leading consultant told
delegates at an EBLEX event in Milton Keynes.

at the launch of a new DVD about halal meat, aimed at public sector
caterers, consultant to EBLEX, Nizar Boga, told industry
representatives that the welfare of animals is of extreme importance to
Islamic traditions.

“Animal welfare is at the top of Muslim theology,” he said.

is my hobby horse. That is something that is badly missing in the
slaughter equation when people forget the rights of animals. Animal
rights are at the top of the agenda.”

The former
Environmental Services director also revealed that he found that many
of his fellow Muslims did not fully understand what halal actually
entailed, that he was frustrated with the small minority of ‘halal’
butchers who sold non-halal meat, including one butcher who admitted he
bought meat from Smithfield Market, and that there was feeling among
some people that stunning could be accepted as part of the ritual.

He added: “There is this view at the moment, more and more shifting towards stunning.”

concluded by saying that he was appealing to organisations outside the
Muslim community – such as Defra, EBLEX, the Food Standards Agency and
the National Farmers’ Union – to help organise halal standards.

chief executive Richard Lowe said: “Commercially it is our job to help
exporters across these markets, so that halal standards of the UK are
very much the story.”

Tony Goodger, foodservice
trade manager, said the aim of the DVD was also to increase
understanding that good standards of halal meat production are used in
the UK.