Shechita is safe with us say Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens


Representatives of all the main political parties except Ukip have expressed their opposition to a ban on shechita.

At a Board of Deputies hustings on Sunday, politicians from Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party told an audience of around 100 that the government must respect the right of religious slaughter.

It followed last month’s decision by the Ukip national executive committee to support the banning of non-stun slaughter. The party did not send a speaker to the Board meeting.

Culture secretary Sajid Javid, for the Tories, forcefully ruled out any ban, adding that he would not stomach any proposal which adversely affected smaller communities.

“A civilised society is judged by how it treats its minorities. The Jewish people for centuries in many ways have been a model of integration, but that does not mean that they need to give up their deeply held religious principles in any way whatsoever.

“I have no time for any ban on it. It would not happen under the Conservatives.”

Labour MP Stephen Twigg, a former education minister, agreed, referring to the Board’s Jewish Manifesto, which outlines 10 values it asks all politicians to support ahead of May's general election.

“In the manifesto, the first point is around respect for the Jewish community’s traditions, and I think that is absolutely of vital importance.

“There is no question of the Labour party supporting such a ban. It is an unacceptable proposal which we reject,” Mr Twigg said.

Green party equalities spokesperson Benali Hamdache condemned Ukip’s agriculture spokesman Stuart Agnew for telling the JC in February that the UKip ban was not aimed at Jews. "It's aimed at others. You've been caught in the crossfire; collateral damage,” Mr Agnew said in a reference to the Muslim community and halal slaughter.

Mr Hamdache argued: “For any political party referencing bans to kosher meat as collateral damage in the pursuit of other communities is deeply problematic.

“We need to support kosher and halal meat, we need to challenge the horrible misconceptions which are out there. Kosher and halal meat have a long legacy valuing humane killing of animals.”

The Lib Dem deputy leader of the House of Commons, Tom Brake, said he was “very proud” his party had allowed religious slaughter to continue while it was part of the coalition government.

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