HM E2R on Halal & Kosher Slaughtering
Her Majesty has spake! Her Majesty is committed to respect for the rights of religious groups! Now everybody shut up!
Found it through no help from the unresponsive bureaucrats of Defra. Found it on
FAWC REPORT ON THE WELFARE OF FARMED ANIMALS
AT SLAUGHTER OR KILLING
PART 1: RED MEAT ANIMALS
DEFRA RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS
Where an animal has not been stunned, the OVS must ensure that nothing is inserted into the neck wound post-cut.
Response: Do not accept. The Government is committed to respect for the rights of religious groups, and in view of the assertion by Shechita UK that the insertion of the slaughterman’s hand into the wound to check that all the vital structures have been cut cleanly is an essential part of shechita slaughter, we will not be legislating against it.
We accept that such action will stimulate nociceptive pathways and in a conscious animal may lead to a perception of pain. However the length of time for an animal to lose consciousness after the neck cut is disputed. We will continue to explore with the religious authorities whether, following the cut, there could be a greater delay before this inspection is carried out.
Council considers that slaughter without pre-stunning is unacceptable and that the Government should repeal the current exemption.
Response: Do not accept. The Government does not intend to ban the slaughter of animals without prior stunning by religious groups. We agree with FAWC that the scientific evidence indicates that animals that receive an effective pre-cut stun do not experience pain at the time of slaughter. The balance of current scientific evidence also suggests that those cattle which receive an immediate post-cut stun are likely to suffer less than those that do not. However we recognise that this latter conclusion is disputed. The Government is committed to respect for the rights of religious groups and accepts that an insistence on a pre-cut or immediate post-cut stun would not be compatible with the requirements of religious slaughter by Jewish and Muslim groups.
However, others, particularly consumer and welfare groups, oppose slaughter without prior stunning and do not wish to eat meat that has not been stunned prior to slaughter. Meat from these animals can find its way onto the ordinary meat market but is not identifiable by consumers at the point of sale. As part of the wider process of review and consultation on labelling meat, the Government will work with consumer and industry groups to consider whether this problem can be addressed through a voluntary system of labelling, bearing in mind that an early EU agreement on meat labelling according to slaughter method is unlikely.
Until the current exemption which permits slaughter without pre-stunning is repealed, Council recommends that any animal not stunned before slaughter should receive an immediate post-cut stun.
Response: Partially accept. The Government does not intend to make it a compulsory requirement for animals to receive an immediate post-cut stun. The Government considers that the current balance of scientific evidence suggests that cattle which have not received a pre-cut stun would benefit from an immediate post-cut stun. However, we recognise that this conclusion is disputed.
The Government is committed to respect for the rights of religious groups and accepts that a compulsory immediate post-cut stun on cattle would not be compatible with the requirements of religious slaughter by Jewish and Muslim groups. We will continue to discuss with the religious authorities the extent to which a voluntary immediate post-cut stun might be introduced in a manner that is compatible with their beliefs.