Isn’t it painful when you get just a paper cut on your finger?
Now imagine the suffering experienced by a lamb unfortunate enough to have its throat cut whilst fully conscious and being hoisted in the air to bleed to death!
This is happening today to over 8,200 lambs in ritual slaughter houses in this country.
According to Food Standards Agency figures almost 20% of poultry and 25% of lambs were slaughtered between April and June 2017 without being stunned or with such a weak stun that they felt pain.
Poultry can take two and a half minutes to lose consciousness after having their throats cut, lambs 20 seconds. On an annual basis more than 200 million chickens and 3 million lambs are killed without being stunned. This percentage is rising every year.
In September 2017 the British Veterinary Association President, Gudrun Ravetz, reported that, ‘Millions of individual animals are affected, making this a major animal welfare issue’.
And why is this allowed to happen?
It is because our Government granted religious exemption from the EU’s slaughter directive 2009 which requires all animals, including poultry, to be stunned before slaughter!
Why should halal (Muslim) and schechita (Kosher) slaughterhouses operate counter to our own animal welfare laws? Surely there should be one law for all? Divisions in society would be disastrous if special treatment contrary to the laws of the land were given out whenever a preference or special pleading was expressed.
It was logical to follow the religious scriptures’ teachings to only eat flesh from a freshly killed healthy animal or bird or fish during the seventh century when they were written. Disease was rampant and methods of killing animals were primitive.
But we have moved on. There are numerous examples of laws in the Torah which are now disregarded such as the death penalty for blasphemy.
We all now enjoy the technology of the 21st century such as storing meat in fridges and freezers and cooking it in a microwave. Methods of slaughter available in the 21st century abattoir have also moved on.
Dr TAJ Hargey wrote in the Daily Mail on 9 May 2014 that:
‘The idea that Muslims cannot eat non-halal meat is completely wrong and it has no theological basis in the Koran, the supreme text of Islam’.
He points out that the Koran says that Muslims cannot eat slaughtered meat unless the name of God exclusively has been pronounced over it. So, just as Christians like myself, may say grace at the table, Dr Hargey says ‘In the name of God, the most merciful, the most Gracious,’ just before eating.
This was a revelation to me – an animal does not need to have an incantation read out to it during its death throes to meet the ‘halal’ or ‘permissible’ requirements. A blessing before its consumption is acceptable in the eyes of God.
Animal and veterinary science has concluded that cutting the throats of animals whilst they are fully conscious can cause significant distress and pain. It has also shown that the electric shock used in halal slaughter may be so weak that pain is felt.
Jewish Kosher does not use any form of stunning, and neither does some Muslim Halal. In some halal slaughterhouses stun to stun is used but it is possible that some animals regain consciousness while being hung upside down to bleed to death.
Please support my petition (see below) which calls not only for an end to the religious exemption but for stun to kill to be mandatory in all UK slaughterhouses to avoid causing animals and poultry unnecessary pain.
Also ask your friends and family to sign it. We are known to be a nation of animal lovers. They don’t have a voice. We must speak out for them. There must be one law that applies to everyone in the nation.
Also please write to:
Neil Parish, Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
telling him that in your view ritual slaughter has no place in the UK.
Ed: This is the petition:
Support, sign and share!