Campaign for ethical meat label

By Jessica Elgot, June 23, 2011
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A new campaign has been launched to introduce ethical certification for kosher meat.

The Chief Rabbi's environmental adviser, Rabbi Natan Levy, and Spencer Shaw, manager of events website Jewpro, have started a petition in order to mobilise wider communal support for the idea.

Rabbi Levy said: "Time and again, I have received an email or phone call from a frustrated Jewish consumer who is seeking unsuccessfully to eat meat that is both kosher and organic."

The Soil Association, the primary agency for approving organic food, has so far refused an organic label for kosher meat because it says animals must be stunned before slaughter.

It has also resisted a compromise proposal from Rabbi Levy to describe meat as "organically-reared".

Shimon Cohen, spokesman for kosher lobby group Shechita UK, has suggested introducing a rabbinical "kite mark" where meat could be rated according to ethical standards.

Mr Cohen said: "Jews are commanded to be concerned about the welfare of animals. Animals must be gently treated in a kosher processing facility, because if there is any bruise or mark on them, the meat will not be kosher."

    Last updated: 2:20pm, June 23 2011