Halal meat - clear labelling is the key says Worcester's MP

General view of a butchers selling halal meat in Brixton, south London, as a review of labelling of halal meat will be conducted if the industry fails to deliver more transparency within the next few months, Downing Street has said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Phot

General view of a butchers selling halal meat in Brixton, south London, as a review of labelling of halal meat will be conducted if the industry fails to deliver more transparency within the next few months, Downing Street has said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Phot

First published in News

CONVENTIONAL slaughterhouses can be as cruel as halal abattoirs says a leader from a Worcestershire group of veggies and vegans.

Much of the meat sold in British supermarkets and served in restaurants comes from animals slaughtered according to traditional Muslim rituals but in many cases is not labelled halal.

A review of labelling will now be conducted if the industry fails to deliver more transparency within the next few months. Another issue has hinged on animal welfare, including whether animals are stunned before slaughter which does not always happen in halal abattoirs. Halal comes from the Arabic word which means ;permissible' and refers to a ritual method of slaughtering animals by a Muslim using a sharp knife.

But Ronald Lee, communications officer for Worcestershire vegans and veggies, said: "People claim that the halal slaughter method is crueller than the ordinary slaughter method. In some cases that may be the case but there is also a tremendous amount of cruelty in what is called conventional slaughter methods as well. The animals are terrified. One animal is slaughtered in front of another. The animals aren't treated with any respect. There is very little difference between halal slaughter and conventional slaughter. What goes on in conventional slaughter houses is just as cruel as in halal slaughter houses."

He said, as an organisation, they preferred to encourage people not to eat meat at all or reduce consumption at least. He said: "You can't have meat without cruelty."

Worcester has a Pizza Express where all meat is halal but all animals are also stunned before slaughter.

Nando's Worcester is not a halal only restaurant. The chain has 314 restaurants, 64 of which serve only Halal chicken and are signposted both in the restaurant and online.

A small proportion of chicken sold in the other 250 restaurants is also halal and is not currently labelled when served.

A spokesman said: "We continue to look at ways to offer chicken dishes which are guaranteed to be non-Halal."

KFC provides halal food in parts of the UK and they are running a Halal trial within communities where they anticipate a strong demand. KFC in Worcester's Elgar Retail Park, Blackpole is not one of the trials.

KFC say they insist that their poultry is stunned before slaughter, using a technique called 'stun-to-stun'.

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, said: "I think it's right there should be clear labelling. It is right that people should know the source of their meat and have as much information about it as possible. I know Muslim and Jewish leaders have spoken out in favour of clear labelling." However, he did say there was a danger of a 'media hysteria' over the issue of halal meat. He said: "It is also very important animal welfare is respected."

Haris Saleem, chairman of the Muslim Welfare Association, said as long as the meat was properly labelled it should not be a problem for anyone. He said if restaurants did offer halal meat it would allow them to appeal to Muslim customers as well. He said: "If it clearly says halal then people have a choice. From my point of view that is a good thing. It is not doing any harm to anybody. There is a demand for halal and they should supply that demand."

Comments (9)

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5:48pm Fri 9 May 14

drowningnotwaving says...

No mention here that a prayer is said while the animal is slaughtered. I for one don't want a prayer said in sacrifice to a God I don't worship. I know some Sikhs who are very offended.
Some crafty takeaway menus and fast food shops put halal in Arabic in the corner somewhere (which I believe should be in English so as not to fool patrons).
No mention here that a prayer is said while the animal is slaughtered. I for one don't want a prayer said in sacrifice to a God I don't worship. I know some Sikhs who are very offended. Some crafty takeaway menus and fast food shops put halal in Arabic in the corner somewhere (which I believe should be in English so as not to fool patrons). drowningnotwaving
  • Score: 10

7:02pm Fri 9 May 14

pinkfluff says...

I've said it before and I will say it again.....it's far to late to jump on the animal welfare bandwagon!! No one gives a flying fig when they are wolfing down the Maccy D's and KFC's.

People have said to me that they don't even want to know about the welfare and slaughter of the animal because they wouldn't be able to eat it if they did.

Some comments on this site have reinforced the lack of any care or consideration about animal welfare. Just saying.
I've said it before and I will say it again.....it's far to late to jump on the animal welfare bandwagon!! No one gives a flying fig when they are wolfing down the Maccy D's and KFC's. People have said to me that they don't even want to know about the welfare and slaughter of the animal because they wouldn't be able to eat it if they did. Some comments on this site have reinforced the lack of any care or consideration about animal welfare. Just saying. pinkfluff
  • Score: 5

10:07pm Fri 9 May 14

St Jon says...

Lets decompose this debate to probe what lies behind the bandwagon....

Imagine your issue if animal cruelty. Wouldn't you be promoting veganism? Or, if you don't mind a little cruelty, then vegitarianism. Or, if your issue is 'humane slaughter', then campaign to label it as 'stunned'. Or, if 'stunned' is too descriptive, and you really insist on a religious label, then why aren't you majoring on 'kosher' as that is never stunned, while the overwhelming majority of halal is.

So, imagine instead that it offends your Christian values. Then, you'd be familiar enough with scripture to realise the prayer is to the same God, and that the slaughter method is prescribed in the same old testament (Leviticus 17 if you're interested). Moreover, you must say grace which is all your bible requires.

Or perhaps you're an atheist, in which case you'll consider it pointless superstitious mumbo jumbo, so why aren't you just laughing?

So what does that leave? Beats me. Surely it couldn't be down to ignorance, or a back door slur on Asians??
Lets decompose this debate to probe what lies behind the bandwagon.... Imagine your issue if animal cruelty. Wouldn't you be promoting veganism? Or, if you don't mind a little cruelty, then vegitarianism. Or, if your issue is 'humane slaughter', then campaign to label it as 'stunned'. Or, if 'stunned' is too descriptive, and you really insist on a religious label, then why aren't you majoring on 'kosher' as that is never stunned, while the overwhelming majority of halal is. So, imagine instead that it offends your Christian values. Then, you'd be familiar enough with scripture to realise the prayer is to the same God, and that the slaughter method is prescribed in the same old testament (Leviticus 17 if you're interested). Moreover, you must say grace which is all your bible requires. Or perhaps you're an atheist, in which case you'll consider it pointless superstitious mumbo jumbo, so why aren't you just laughing? So what does that leave? Beats me. Surely it couldn't be down to ignorance, or a back door slur on Asians?? St Jon
  • Score: -1

6:48am Sat 10 May 14

worcswolf says...

Personally its nice to have a conscience and think that the animals on your plate have had a nice life. but reality is they are often farmed to make the farmer the most profit living in cramped conditions etc etc. I shop on price and think most people do. the only labels i look at is price what next the animals name date of birth and favourite football team.
Personally its nice to have a conscience and think that the animals on your plate have had a nice life. but reality is they are often farmed to make the farmer the most profit living in cramped conditions etc etc. I shop on price and think most people do. the only labels i look at is price what next the animals name date of birth and favourite football team. worcswolf
  • Score: -6

10:00am Sat 10 May 14

stu2010 says...

Why do we keep pandering to these people? Beggars belief
Why do we keep pandering to these people? Beggars belief stu2010
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Sat 10 May 14

New Kid on the Block says...

worcswolf wrote:
Personally its nice to have a conscience and think that the animals on your plate have had a nice life. but reality is they are often farmed to make the farmer the most profit living in cramped conditions etc etc. I shop on price and think most people do. the only labels i look at is price what next the animals name date of birth and favourite football team.
I either buy my meat from a farm shop where I do know who was responsible for the animal both in life and death or I go to a proper Butcher.
I may pay a little more but the meat tastes better and I have more faith in how the animals were treated.
I make my choice you make yours but in the past when I have bought supermarket meat it was not as good as what I now buy.
I would rather have a smaller piece of good meat or buy a cheaper cut rather than go back to buying supermarket meat.
[quote][p][bold]worcswolf[/bold] wrote: Personally its nice to have a conscience and think that the animals on your plate have had a nice life. but reality is they are often farmed to make the farmer the most profit living in cramped conditions etc etc. I shop on price and think most people do. the only labels i look at is price what next the animals name date of birth and favourite football team.[/p][/quote]I either buy my meat from a farm shop where I do know who was responsible for the animal both in life and death or I go to a proper Butcher. I may pay a little more but the meat tastes better and I have more faith in how the animals were treated. I make my choice you make yours but in the past when I have bought supermarket meat it was not as good as what I now buy. I would rather have a smaller piece of good meat or buy a cheaper cut rather than go back to buying supermarket meat. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 3

1:14pm Sat 10 May 14

Jabbadad says...

From the point of view of the product, it is very likely that Halal meats should be lighter in colour since most if not all the blood is encouraged to drain away since the heart (a Blood pump) continues slightly longer than in animals that have been satisfactorily stunned the Bled. And the expression from KFC of Stun-To-Stun is such a advertising gimmick aimed to sit in the middle of the argument while trying still to sell their products to all faiths.
I personally think that those who sell stunned halal meats are just conning their customers since the animals are either stunned or not, their is no half way stunning process, although you could adjust the ammount of electrocution for sheep, pigs and chickens, so that they are but dazed.
Back in the early 1900's large animals (Cattle) were Pole-Axed, and our family bought an old butchers shop which still had the tethering nose ring fixed in the wall out in the back yard. This I understood from my late Dad had been used (NOT BY US ) to tether the animals by their nose rings to the wall ring, to keep the Cow, heifers, head reasonably still, while a hands held Pole Axe (very similar to a pick axe) was used to aim at a realy small area (as big as a Two Bob Peice) in the centre of the Forehead. They were then bled.. Most slaughter men were very accurate and dropped the animal with one very powerful swing. Then later on came the captive Bolt (also used on Horses) which was a really big step foreward for accuracy being a special pistol which propelled a spikie into the animals head. By then Pigs and sheep were electrocuted, then Bled, prior to that just a sharp knife was used. So really a type of halal without the prayers.
Sorry not a pretty posting but reality. But then reality isn't always pretty is it?
From the point of view of the product, it is very likely that Halal meats should be lighter in colour since most if not all the blood is encouraged to drain away since the heart (a Blood pump) continues slightly longer than in animals that have been satisfactorily stunned the Bled. And the expression from KFC of Stun-To-Stun is such a advertising gimmick aimed to sit in the middle of the argument while trying still to sell their products to all faiths. I personally think that those who sell stunned halal meats are just conning their customers since the animals are either stunned or not, their is no half way stunning process, although you could adjust the ammount of electrocution for sheep, pigs and chickens, so that they are but dazed. Back in the early 1900's large animals (Cattle) were Pole-Axed, and our family bought an old butchers shop which still had the tethering nose ring fixed in the wall out in the back yard. This I understood from my late Dad had been used (NOT BY US ) to tether the animals by their nose rings to the wall ring, to keep the Cow, heifers, head reasonably still, while a hands held Pole Axe (very similar to a pick axe) was used to aim at a realy small area (as big as a Two Bob Peice) in the centre of the Forehead. They were then bled.. Most slaughter men were very accurate and dropped the animal with one very powerful swing. Then later on came the captive Bolt (also used on Horses) which was a really big step foreward for accuracy being a special pistol which propelled a spikie into the animals head. By then Pigs and sheep were electrocuted, then Bled, prior to that just a sharp knife was used. So really a type of halal without the prayers. Sorry not a pretty posting but reality. But then reality isn't always pretty is it? Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

8:49pm Sat 10 May 14

drowningnotwaving says...

When a prayer is said at the animals demise. it becomes a sacrifice rather than slaughter
Corinthians 1 10:28
When a prayer is said at the animals demise. it becomes a sacrifice rather than slaughter Corinthians 1 10:28 drowningnotwaving
  • Score: 5

12:17pm Sun 11 May 14

MJI says...

Some of these factories have automatic slitting equipement and tapes of prayers.

I would love to get into one and replace the tape with one saying "May the force be with you".
Some of these factories have automatic slitting equipement and tapes of prayers. I would love to get into one and replace the tape with one saying "May the force be with you". MJI
  • Score: 2

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