Below is the correspondence between Stuart Agnew MEP, initiated by his article Religious Slaughter and Brenda Rattle, UKIP Member, who proposed publication in UKIP Daily and gave her permission to do so (see her last communication). We publish it as we received it:

24th October 2017: UKIP DAILY – New comment on your post “Religious Slaughter” Author: Brenda Rattle

Mr Agnew

You supported AMW in her leadership election campaign recently knowing full well her stance on the matter of non-stun slaughter.

Yet you try to make a case for non stun slaughter at every opportunity.

To that end, I am going to ask you a question which, in the circumstances, I believe is fair and reasonable.

Do you have a vested interest, however small, in any part of the non-stun slaughter business?

B E Rattle Membership number ******

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From: Stuart Agnew
Sent: 28 October 2017 09:37

To: Brenda Rattle
Subject: Religious slaughter

Dear Brenda,

I can confirm that I have no financial interest whatsoever in not wanting to ban religious slaughter.

I have two motivations.

Pragmatism. A ban will simply displace the practice elsewhere, where it can’t be controlled at all.

Concern about anti-Semitism. 70 years ago there were sites in Eastern Europe that could be described as human abattoirs, the species being killed were Jews. I often think about what it must have been like to been a Jew in Europe at the time. Regarded as vermin, ruthlessly hunted down, transported in appalling conditions to death camps. I think about how it started, with Jews being blamed for things that were wrong with society. Slowly it became fashionable to treat them unpleasantly.

Even at school I recall a boy called Harris, always referred to as “Jew-boy Harris”. Another was “Jew-boy Knohl-Oser”. The message sent out was that it was unwise to befriend them. I should have stuck up for them at the time, but was too cowardly to do so. As I grew older I resolved that I would never again give in to peer pressure to find reasons to downgrade Jews. I have stuck my head over the parapet on their behalf on this issue of Religious Slaughter, and it has made me very unpopular in certain UKIP quarters. I don’t like being unpopular, but is far preferable to the guilty feeling of going along with the populist war cry that Jews are cruel to animals.

For the record, I believe that I am 6% Jewish on my father’s mother’s  side, although there is disagreement in the family about this.

If it does become UKIP policy to ban Religious slaughter, I want it on record that I opposed this. I want to be able to look the British Jewish community in the eye and say that I did what I could to help them.

Best wishes, Stuart (STUART AGNEW  MEP)

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From: brenda rattle
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2017 11:33 AM
To: Stuart Agnew
Subject: Re: Religious slaughter

Dear Stuart

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I do think it would be a good idea to publish it on UKIP Daily.  It would prevent speculation and people could decide for themselves whether your reasons for supporting non-stun slaughter satisfies their own conscience or not.

I can understand now your feelings regarding the practice of non-stun slaughter although I don’t feel the need to condone the practise myself. With regard to the ‘human abattoirs’ I agree that Jewish communities the world over have been treated appallingly, and, in many cases, still are. Labour’s recent anti-semitic behaviour is a case in point.

Whilst I would support an outright ban on non-stun slaughter I can see that, certainly at the moment, it would not work. However the religious exemption to animal welfare laws should be strictly for the communities that require it. It should not be inflicted on those of us that do not. To that end, strict labelling should be introduced and enforced.

It may interest you to know that I love Jewish food (having worked for many Jewish people over the years) and was often given the recipes for my favourite dishes. One lady made the most flavoursome chicken soup I have ever tasted. She taught me to make it and it goes down really well with my friends when I serve it. On that basis, it is not unusual to see me in the Jewish food section of the supermarket for Telma soup mix/cubes and matzo ball mix. I don’t use kosher meat though and neither does my Jewish friend of soup fame!

I am lucky here to live about 20 minutes drive from a farm butcher who has his own independent licensed slaughterhouse. He raises his own sheep and cattle. Pork and poultry is sourced from other local farms and all animals are fully stunned for slaughter. The produce is delicious. I would like to see this type of smaller operation become more widespread because I don’t like the conditions in the big ‘factory’ abattoirs either.

Sorry about the length of this reply but I thought I might as well explain my feelings on non-stun slaughter.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to answer my question and giving your reasons.

With best wishes, Brenda

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From: Stuart Agnew
Date: 29/10/2017 10:54 (GMT+00:00)
To: ‘brenda rattle’
Subject: RE: Religious slaughter

Brenda, thank you very much for this.

Aggers

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From: brenda rattle
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 12:37 PM
To: Stuart Agnew
Subject: RE: Religious slaughter

Stuart. I don’t want to make a nuisance of myself so will keep this short.
If you wish you can ask Viv to publish my reply after your text if you feel it would serve a useful purpose. It might illustrate that we can have differing opinions whilst still understanding the other’s point of view. Please accept this email as my authorisation to do so.
One final thing: if you are ever due to visit the Milton Keynes area do please let me know a few days beforehand. I will then endeavour to make you some of that chicken soup. Regards.

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