Law reprieve for kosher meat labels

An amendment which could lead to controversial plans to label kosher meat has been removed from a proposed new European law.

The European Council and Parliament agreed this week that the new food information regulation will not include a requirement that all
kosher and halal meat would be labelled "meat from slaughter without
stunning".

But they have also agreed to include an accompanying statement to the bill which states that the proposal to label kosher meat should be looked at as part of the upcoming review of animal welfare legislation later this year.

The final plans will be approved by the Council later this month.

The amendment was rejected last year but was then reintroduced.

Campaigners claim the labels are discriminatory because they only focus on kosher and halal meat and could cause kosher prices to rocket.

They fear that consumers from the non-kosher market, which buys 70 per cent of shechitah-slaughtered meat, may be put off by the labelling.

Shimon Cohen, of lobby group Shechita UK, said that despite the news, the community would need to increase its support over the coming months.

"The indications that we have now received from the EU are for now positive," he said.

"We will monitor the progress of this.

"We are, however, very conscious that the matter has only been deferred and we will need the community to be fully engaged in the coming months."

    Last updated: 1:16pm, June 16 2011