Scientists claim shechita makes no difference to blood loss in slaughtered animals


Scientists claim tests on halal and kosher meat have found no significant difference in blood loss when animals are killed after being stunned.

Under the shechita process animals are not stunned before slaughter, a practice animal rights campaigners oppose.

The tests, carried out by an academic psychiatrist and a consultant pathologist, and reported in today’s Times, were independent and have not been verified by experts.

Ordinary beef and a piece of venison from a deer which had been shot were compared to pieces of halal and kosher beef in the investigation.

All the pieces of meat were found to have retained similar levels of red blood cells, leading the Times to claim they provided “visual confirmation of previous scientific studies” relating to blood loss.

Jews and Muslims are forbidden to consume blood. Shechita maximises the animal’s blood loss.

Shechita UK spokesman Shimon Cohen told the Times that the study was “not relevant to the debate about religious slaughter in any way”. He said discussions on the practices had been about animal welfare perception and not blood content levels.

Pro-halal campaigners also rejected the results, saying the Koran totally forbids consumption of blood.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb published a report into religious slaughter last month and said more research was needed on the practices.

Activists have repeatedly lobbied against kosher and halal practices. In March, pro-shechita campaigners rejected comments made by the leader of the country’s vets, John Blackwell, who suggested religious slaughter should be banned in Britain.

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