Top vet denounces shechitah

By Jessica Elgot, May 10, 2012

The former president of the British Veterinary Association has criticised kosher slaughter for causing "unacceptable suffering to animals" and called for the practice to be curbed.

Shechita UK said it was preparing a response to the claims by Professor Bill Reilly in the Veterinary Record.

Prof Reilly said he had visited a kosher slaughterhouse in the 1970s, and was appalled at how "the distress, fear and pain were there for all to see (and hear) in the abattoir".

He argued in favour of "restricting the use of halal and kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs, and where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives."

Shimon Cohen, spokesman for Shechita UK, said: "Prof Reilly's deeply flawed article seems to be based upon science which has been comprehensively discredited."

A "learned response" is being prepared for the Veterinary Record by vet Dr Simon Hayes and Stuart Rosen of Shechita UK.

Last updated: 2:42pm, May 10 2012