Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Parliament debates kosher and halal slaughtering methods

MPs want extra labelling of kosher and halal meat
MPs want extra labelling of kosher and halal meat

More animals slaughtered for food in Britain should undergo stunning before they are killed, an MP investigating kosher and halal practices has urged.

Neil Parish said the government must continue its research into shechita and other religious meat production procedures during a debate in Parliament.

The Westminster Hall session followed the publication in August of a report conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb. It studied the slaughter of meat in accordance with religious rites.

Group chairman Mr Parish said he would also be seeking discussions with religious authorities over the possibility of introducing post-cut stunning to the shechita process.

Any request for such stunning is likely to be met with strong opposition from kosher authorities.

The Conservative MP said there was a “deficit in understanding shechita” and urged the government to continue its research into the method.

Mr Parish said he wanted labels to focus on whether meat had been stunned or not, rather than to point out whether the product was kosher or halal.

“There is a danger that an outright ban on religious slaughter would not improve animal welfare,” he said.

“We conducted the inquiry in a calm and cool way. I hope our points will be taken on board. It is a serious piece of work.

“We have to find a way forward so that more animals are stunned before slaughter.”

MPs also discussed the possibility of introducing compulsory CCTV cameras to all slaughterhouses to ensure better observation of killing procedures.

A number of Jewish MPs, and those representing constituencies with a large number of Jewish residents, spoke in defence of shechita.

They included Conservatives Jonathan Djanogly, Lee Scott, Matthew Offord and Mike Freer, and Labour’s Louise Ellman and Shabana Mahmood.

Ms Ellman said a ban on kosher meat production would be a “gross infringement” of the Jewish community’s civil rights.

Meanwhile Shechita UK, which works to defend the practice, has accused the British Veterinary Association of misleading consumers over the issue of labelling.

The BVA said nine out of 10 vets believed that labelling which explained the method of slaughter would help shoppers make an informed choice about meat purchases.

But Shechita UK director Shimon Cohen said: "The BVA position on labelling assumes that consumers understand exactly what industrialised mechanical stunning involves.

“It is on that basis that they continue to promote a rudimentary and incomplete approach to labelling.

“Consumers have every right to know if an animal was asphyxiated by gas, electrocuted, shot with a steel bolt gun or indeed mis-stunned, leaving the animal in terrible distress."

Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86