* Proposal by RSPCA singles out
religious communities for food labelling
Insisting on labelling only un-stunned meat is discriminatory
The Muslim Council of Britain today spoke out
against a campaign by the RSPCA to have all meat slaughtered via the
non-stunned method to be punitively labelled. Muslims must consume food that is
in accordance with the religious requirements of Halal, just as Jews
must consume food that is Kosher. The religious laws of both
religions require that meat be obtained from animals that were not
Dr Shuja Shafi, Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said:
"We fully support the labelling of Halal food, and consumers should know
how the meat was slaughtered. But it is discriminatory to only label un-stunned
meat for consumers to make a choice on animal welfare grounds. Consumers also
have a right to know if their meat was slaughtered by one of many
different stunning methods prior to slaughter, i.e., by one of the legal
methods of slaughter that includes mechanical stunning with a captive bolt,
gassing, electrocuting, or any of the other approved methods."
"There are different methods of stunning and each has its own welfare
implications. If the purpose of the labelling is to truly help consumers
make informed choice, all meat should be labelled with how the animal was
killed - not just un-stunned."
"This is a first step in trying to ban un-stunned slaughter. The next step
will be to ban 'reversible stunning', on animal welfare grounds and insist on
using only 'stun-to-kill' methods." Both of these steps are based on a
scientific presumption that stunning in fact provides better animal welfare.
We strongly believe that when examined critically, the scientific
literature does not support that assumption”.
"We hope the RSPCA reconsiders its
proposals lest it scapegoats religious communities."
The Muslim Council of Britain fully supports
the stance taken by Shechita UK in opposing the RSPCA's proposals.