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Ritual Slaughter Campaign

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clayto
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Joined: July 22nd, 2007, 6:34 pm

Ritual Slaughter Campaign

#1 Postby clayto » January 26th, 2009, 1:13 pm

From the BHA bulletin

"Join the BHA’s campaign against ritual slaughter in the UK

The regulation of methods of slaughter of animals for food is predicated on a public policy of minimising the suffering of animals – slaughtering should be humane and cause the least suffering and pain possible. Stunning is generally agreed to go some way towards this objective and is mandated by law. At present legal exemption is given for slaughter for religious reasons to provide the demand for kosher and halal meat. This is even though the Government accepts that these methods cause very significant pain and distress, and despite recommendations from the Farm Animal Welfare Council that the exceptions in the law provided for ritual slaughter should be repealed.

David Taylor MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) 510: Pre-Stunning of Animals for Slaughter. EDM 510 calls for the Government to work with Muslim and Jewish communities to address the animal welfare implications of all religious slaughter and to amend the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 accordingly. It also observes that bans on slaughter without pre-stunning in Norway, Sweden and New Zealand have been in place for over five years without harming religious freedom or community relations in those countries.

We are asking our members and supporters to join our campaign for a more equal, ethical and humane law on the slaughter of animals.

Visit our specially designed campaigns pages for more information and to email your MP to ask them to sign EDM 510. You can read more about the BHA’s policy on ritual slaughter, on the labelling of meat that has been slaughtered by religious methods and read our response to the consultation on the Farm Animal Welfare Council Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing."

Chris
clayto

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ritual Slaughter Campaign

#2 Postby Alan H » April 4th, 2009, 11:36 pm

BHA Press Release on Friday:
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BHA calls for an end to inhumane ritual slaughter
http://humanism.org.uk/news/view/262
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BHA calls for an end to inhumane ritual slaughter

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today responded to a Defra consultation on the welfare of animals at time of slaughter, urging the Government to repeal exemptions to allow ritual slaughter of animals without pre-stunning.

Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer, said, ‘It is important that the law covering the welfare of animals at time of slaughter is humane and aimed to reduce as far as possible the pain, suffering and distress of the animal. Exemptions afforded to religious groups to allow for slaughter of animals without pre-stunning undoubtedly contradicts that principle and it is high time for the Government to repeal them.’

‘There is no reason why the Government cannot work with Jewish and Muslim communities to seek ways of slaughtering animals in accordance with religious rules but that require that animals are properly stunned before they are slaughtered so as to minimise pain and distress. Bans on slaughter without pre-stunning have worked well in other countries without harming religious freedoms or community relations.’

Ms Phillips continued, ‘In our response to the consultation, we have also urged the Government to look again at rules on food labelling, to ensure that all meat that is derived from ritually slaughtered animals is clearly labelled as such, so that consumers are able to choose whether to buy it or not.’
Notes

For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips on 020 7079 3585.

Read our response to the Defra consultation here.


[Retrieved: Sat Apr 04 2009 23:34:44 GMT+0100 (GMT Standard Time)]

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Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ritual Slaughter Campaign

#3 Postby Alan H » June 26th, 2009, 6:00 pm

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Animal rights outcry at Euro slaughter decision - politics.co.uk
http://www.politics.co.uk/news/animal-w ... 306813.htm
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Animal rights outcry at Euro slaughter decision

Friday, 26, Jun 2009 05:25

By Ian Dunt

Animal rights groups have reacted with outrage at a European Union ruling earlier this week protecting Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughtering animals.

Jews practise a form of ritual slaughter called shechita, while Muslims practise dhabiha. Neither will have to involve stunning the animal before slaughter under the ruling, a factor many animal rights advocates consider objectionable.

The new EU rules require all slaughter techniques to make sure animals do not suffer "any avoidable distress or pain", but they make an explicit exception for "cultural traditions and religious rites".

Animal rights are less important than human rights

It means there will now be a requirement for kosher and halal food to be traded and sold freely in every EU state.

Peta US spokesman Philip Schein told politics.co.uk: "When these laws were formulated thousands of years ago, they were intended to minimise pain to animals.

"However, with today's high-speed mass-production, ritual slaughter has often become a mockery of its original intent. Animals slaughtered according to halal and kosher regulations come from the same unhygienic, miserable factory farms as animals killed in standard slaughterhouses," he continued.

"And without prior stunning, animals which are killed according to halal and kosher methods have their throats cut while fully conscious and slowly bleed to death."

But Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said the method of slaughter was a religious right.

"This regulation protects the fundamental rights of Europe's religious minorities," he said.

Conference of European Rabbis executive director Aba Dunner added: "The regulation specifically makes provision for the killing of animals for food by religious communities to be exempted from the requirement for pre-stunning, and it contains no discriminatory labelling requirements for meat slaughtered using the shechita method nor for post-cut stunning to be enforced."

"Furthermore, no member state will be able to prevent meat slaughtered according to the Jewish religious method being traded in its territory."

Fhuja Shafi, chair of the food standards committee at the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said: "This is a human rights issue in terms of our ability to practise our religion. It's a very humane method of slaughter. The incision with a very sharp knife produces a fast death and we see no problem with it."

But animal rights activists were joined by secular campaigners, who branded the move lopsided.

Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society (NSS) said: "This is further evidence of the grip that religion increasingly holds over our decision makers.

"Here we have a non-negotiable religious opt-out for a piece of legislation aimed at avoiding unnecessary suffering. The ruling is basically saying that it's okay to cause animals to suffer, as long as you're religiously motivated."

The decision comes four years after the British government rejected a recommendation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) to ban the practice of slaughter without pre-stunning.

Animal rights groups claim the techniques can cause extraordinary suffering.

"Peta US' undercover investigations into religious slaughterhouses have exposed that animals often remain conscious for minutes after the ritual slaughter cut and that these animals are often subjected to excruciating dressing procedures while still fully sensible to pain," Mr Schein said.

"There is a consensus among scientists and industry experts that stunning, when done accurately and with proper head restraints, is the most humane option and that this method can be made fully consistent with kosher and halal laws and principles."

In a last ditch attempt to stop this legislation being passed, the NSS requested a meeting with Hilary Benn, environment secretary, but the group said he rejected the offer.

In a statement, the department said it would not change its "long-standing policy of religious tolerance" by ending the opt-out.

"While the government would prefer to see all animals stunned before slaughter, we will continue to ensure that required standards of animal welfare are effectively monitored and enforced in all slaughterhouses," the statement read.

The ruling, which took place last Monday, also contains measures welcomed by animal rights activists.

Slaughterhouses will also have to appoint a specific individual with responsibility for animal welfare and ensure all staff are properly trained and certified.

The efficiency of stunning techniques will be regularly monitored, killing will only be allowed when carried out by properly trained and certified personnels, and animal welfare will be taken into account in the design of slaughterhouses.

But the use of certain controversial stunning techniques, such as carbon dioxide for pigs and poultry, will be allowed to continue, despite new limitations.

"We have a duty to take care of animals. Their welfare is crucial, not only for ethical reasons but also to ensure animal health and the quality of food," EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said in a statement.

Every year, nearly 360 million pigs, sheep, goats and cattle and several billion turkeys and chickens are killed in the EU for their meat.

[Retrieved: Fri Jun 26 2009 17:57:45 GMT+0100 (GMT Daylight Time)]

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Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Ritual Slaughter Campaign

#4 Postby Emma Woolgatherer » June 26th, 2009, 8:16 pm

Odd. This article repeatedly refers to "animal rights groups" but doesn't mention which they are, apart from Peta US, and unhelpfully the author provides no links. I'd have thought that this was an animal welfare issue, not an animal rights issue. I've found a press release from the European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance (EVANA), which talks about animal welfare concerns arising from the EU ruling, but I haven't tracked down anything from any other animal rights or welfare organisations. It's very strange.

Dunt also wrote an exceptionally badly written comment piece, "Animal rights are less important than human rights", in which he explains his own rather unsophisticated views on this issue. He seems to be saying that human rights trump animal rights, or for that matter any concerns about animal welfare, no matter what: "Muslims and Jews are entitled to slaughter animals for food in any way they choose. Not because of their religion, but because of their status as human beings."

Emma


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