Last year I mentioned that the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council had proposed a ban on kosher and halal slaughter on the grounds that such slaughter methods were cruel. I recently received a number of inquiries on what ultimately happened with such proposals. It turns out that earlier this year, in April, the British government rejected the proposals.
Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said at that time,
We will not ban the production of halal or kosher meat. A ban could in any case simply result in kosher and halal meat being imported. We would, therefore, be exporting the problem, resulting in no overall improvement in animal welfare.
The Government sees some merit in the FAWC recommendation that cattle slaughtered by having their throats cut should receive an immediate post-cut stun because of the time it takes cattle to lose consciousness but we do not intend to pursue a mandatory system for this and intend to explore whether progress can be made on a voluntary basis. We would welcome the view of the communities concerned.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Dr. Julia Wrathall complained about the decision, saying,
While welcoming the Government’s support for many of the other FAWC recommendations we are extremely disappointed that they have failed to act on the evidence — based on scientific research and practical experience — that slaughter without pre-stunning imposes unnecessary suffering.
Stunning for welfare rejected. CountrysideOnline.Co.UK, April 5, 2004.