The statement below has been taken from the website of a body calling itself the Association of Non Stun Abattoirs (ANSA):
ANSA (Association of Non Stun Abattoirs) was formed to represent the voice of the halal meat industry. The association aims to create and raise awareness of the halal industry according to the teachings of the Quran and the prophetic tradition.
The ANSA logo will give the consumers assurance that the meat they will be consuming is truly halal and is ritually halal slaughtered according to Islamic principles.
From ANSA’s mission statement, one could be excused for thinking that it is an organisation based in Pakistan, but sadly, this is not the case, for it is based here in the UK.
Many of us eat meat, and many do not, but even for those of us who do, it would seem perverse if anyone were to suggest that we should do anything other than minimise the suffering and distress of animals in the slaughter process; it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the most humane slaughter methods available are employed. Animal welfare standards in the UK are generally of a high standard, considerably higher than in many EU countries, which can at times place our farmers at a competitive disadvantage; however, this piece is not going to argue for a reduction in these standards, but rather to defend them, and to outline the case for ensuring that there are no exemptions from their application.
There may, given the specific historical, geographical and climatic contexts in which halal and kosher slaughter arose, have been some original rational basis to the dietary taboos of the religious ideologies that demand such practices, but that basis has long since gone: there is no rational reason why either Muslims or Jews should object to the stunning of livestock before slaughter. Only individuals of a literalistic scriptural bent within either of these religious traditions, or out-and-out sadists, could surely maintain that superfluous pain and distress should be inflicted upon an animal, simply to satisfy the arbitrary demands of ‘authoritative’ texts irrelevant to contemporary realities.
A basic principle of law in a modern state is that it should be applicable equally to all of its citizens, with no individuals or groups being accorded special rights or exemptions. The principle of “one law for all” is a sound one, and when it comes to questions of animal welfare, it should not be the case that livestock consumed by literalist doctrinaire Muslims or Jews should be afforded lesser protection than those consumed by everyone else. To the animals, it matters not what set of beliefs the slaughterman holds, but that their deaths be as swift and as devoid of suffering as possible. It is not the feelings of the religious that should be taken into account, but those of the animals destined for the table, for in their deaths, the latter suffer rather more distress than the inflexible dogmatists would suffer in being denied the right to practice their rites.
A chance to change the law with respect to religious slaughter comes our way in the near future, for the National Secular Society (NSS) notes that the current EU Welfare at Slaughter Directive 93/110 is due to be replaced in January next year. Although the new Regulation 1099/2009 will allow for exemptions for religious slaughter to continue, it also offers the opportunity to end them. The NSS is thus urging people who oppose this practice to write to their MPs in an effort to have their opinions taken into account in the Westminster consultation exercise that will take place in the coming months. NSS blog contributor Stephen Evans has written an interesting piece about this, linking it to ANSA’s recent campaign involving incorrectly labelled ‘halal’ meat in Birmingham. ANSA of course, was not outraged by the fact that halal meat is routinely sold unlabelled to unsuspecting non-Muslims, but by instances in which pre-stunned meat was labelled as ‘halal’. ANSA, clearly, is a deeply reactionary Islamist outfit as can be seen from its website, that is intent upon campaigning for increased cruelty in animal slaughter.
What hope do we have of the law being changed so as to be both consonant with animal welfare and the principle of “one law for all”? Judging by recent experience, the prospects do not look overly hopeful. Earlier this year for example, Shipley MP Philip Davies sought to introduce a ‘Food Labelling (Halal and Kosher Meat) Bill’, but it was blocked by 73 votes to 70. The bill in itself was highly moderate, for it did not propose a ban upon either halal or kosher slaughter, but merely that meat produced using these methods should be clearly labelled as such, so that those of us who object to these slaughter techniques could avoid it. Nonetheless, the majority of MPs could not even be bothered to vote either way with respect to this perfectly reasonable suggestion, and the bill was defeated. MP Gerald Kaufman should be ashamed of his key role in sabotaging Davies’s bill, for it would have in no way infringed upon his ability to purchase kosher meat. Kaufman was quoted in Mancunian Matters as stating:
This has profound connotations of religious feelings and I would be letting my own faith down, my family, I would be letting my many, many good decent, fine religious Muslims in my constituency down if I did not state my total opposition to this Bill.
Despite the inarticulacy of Kaufman’s intervention, and the absence of any underpinning logic for his position, other than brazen politicking for the Muslim vote and his personal adherence to the dead letter of scriptural dogma, it was his position that won the day. This, and a number of other instances, demonstrates an uncomfortable reality: MPs and parliamentary candidates are, as a rule, highly responsive to Muslim demands because Muslims, generally speaking but with some exceptions of course, act as a highly volatile bloc vote, that can swing results in certain constituencies. If therefore, you should reside in a constituency where there are a significant number of Muslims, it is unlikely that your MP will be receptive to your plea to ban religious slaughter. For all of the protestations of the multiculturalists and advocates of mass immigration, this is the end result of their policy: not ‘enrichment’, but the growing power of dogmatic and vocal minorities to impose their backward beliefs on a more advanced society and culture; reversing our advances in animal welfare, and generating a climate of fear amongst potential critics of this regression, who wish at all costs to avoid being labelled ‘racist’.
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If people of certain religious backgrounds wish to purchase Halal or Kosher products they should be able to.ReplyDelete
However, it should be imported and incur the inevitable hike in price.
The vast majority of Lamb from New Zealand is already Halal but is rarely labled as such. This also needs addressing.
A nation of animal lovers? Prove it.
I agree totally. What you suggest would represent a fair solution.Delete
Kosher products are far more expensive than other meat products, no idea about halal.ReplyDelete
It would be great if you could research the difference between kosher non-stunning and halal, as it is loathsome for Jews to be put in same category as animal-hating mozlems. There are images all over the net of how mozlems treat animals.
In Jewish law care for the animal is paramount and death is as quick if not quicker than the methods used for stunning in this country.
I challenge you to find actual evidence and not anti-semitic hearsay, regarding kosher non-stun killing.
I would have liked to share this post but cannot see the purpose of putting Jews and mozlems in the same boat; it is like left- wingers who say the EDL are nazis.
Juniper: try looking at this phenomenon from the outside as a non-monotheist who possesses no dietary taboos, or considering it from the animal's perspective. Does it really make any rational sense in such a context to differentiate between the two?Delete
This practice does not only happen in slaughter houses. During the festival of Eid in an orgy of barbarity thousands of lambs and goats are killed in back gardens and other outdoor places throughout the world and even here in UK. Bet they don't put that on their website.ReplyDelete
Ah yes, Eid! I think I'll stick with Christmas, irrespective of the fact that I'm not a Christian. There generally seems to be less blood involved, although of course, sprouts can give rise to unpleasant problems depending upon who has eaten them.Delete
I recently emailed Waitrose with regard to their meat sales and halal - that was 2 months ago and i am still waiting for a reply. We are facing a creeping 'halalisation' of meat in this country and why the fuck should we have 'religiously slaughtered' meat forced upon us? As usual not one fucking useless MP has taken up this issue. More pandering to minority muslims......ReplyDelete
They probably deleted your email Laurie. Although it's a pain, try sending them a letter and see what happens.Delete
Laurie. If your language in the email was as foul and insulting as it is on here then I too would have ignored you.Delete
I live in a high Muslim populated area of the UK, where grooming of young white girls is still happening, and I saw an example of it happening just 2 days ago. I have sp[oken about this with a retired Police Officer and his statement "We have been instructed to leave Muslims alone" this also goes for car crime, where they are openly seen driving whilst using mobile phones, driving through red traffic lights and speeding, it does seem the law only applies to white law abiding people....More race riots are on their way, you can feel the atmosphere alreadyReplyDelete
This is terrible. Have you notified the police properly about this case? If not, you should do so, irrespective of any unofficial policy not to investigate this sort of behaviour.Delete
All export halal meat from NZ is stunned before slaughter. The agreement between the NZ Islamic Society and the NZ Govt. is that altho' the animals are stunned, the imams are allowed to despatch them before they die.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the clarification Kiwi. That's not quite as bad a situation as many of us thought, but it does seem that imams have managed to turn the whole enterprise into an Islamic business of sorts.Delete
But why should anyone be forced to eat halal just because those inconsiderate halal brigade and islamics demand so? The way I see it, islamics failed to respect the needs of a multicultural society and their islamics claims ablout respecting multicultural living is just another of their islamic one big lie. The excessive and aggressive pushing of their islamic halal label in too many parts of Asia region is even more disgusting.Delete
The answer to that question WLIL, is a mystery.Delete
StourbridgeRantBoy said 'As usual not one fucking useless MP has taken up this issue. More pandering to minority muslims......'ReplyDelete
Suggest you go to Specsavers ! If you read the article before 'ranting' you would see that Philip Davies (officially Shipley Conservative but in fact since A Cryer MP retired he is the nearest thing to a Nationalist in the HoC !) introduced a Private Members Bill to improve labelling of kosher and halal products. It was defeated but 70 MP's supported him. P Davies is an excellent backbencher not 'fucking useless'.
You are right to note the many positive qualities of Philip Davies Ivan, and to acknowledge the good work previously done by Anne Cryer. Some people, no matter what their party label, are willing to stick their necks out on occasion, and to act in a manner that is helpful to their constituents, but damaging to their prospects for political advancement in the House of Commons.Delete