New call for accurate labelling of meat from ‘ritually slaughtered’ animals

Concerned by the continued lack of accurate labelling of meat products derived from animals that have been ritually slaughtered in line with kosher or halal requirements but have not been pre-stunned, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has set up a new facility to enable people to email their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in support of accurate food labelling.

On 16th June 2010 the European Parliament agreed by 326 votes to 270 that meat and meat products derived from animals that have not been stunned prior to slaughter should be clearly labelled as: ‘Meat from slaughter without stunning’.

This proposal is currently being considered by the European Council, and is due to go again before the European Parliament next year for further consideration.

Commenting on the campaign, BHA Head of Public Affairs Naomi Phillips said ‘The evidence suggests that failing to pre-stun animals, which renders them insensible to pain, causes further significant unnecessary pain and distress in the slaughtering process. We also know that a large proportion of meat which has been slaughtered in accordance with religious customs with no form of pre-stunning end up on the open-market and unlabelled.

‘The BHA campaigns for an end to the practice of ritual slaughter without pre-stunning. However, until that such time, we believe it is essential that consumers are able to make fully informed decisions about their purchases. We strongly encourage people to contact their MEPs and urge them to support European-wide regulations that will compel producers to label accurately meat derived from ritually slaughtered meat. The BHA will also be writing to the government to encourage it to support the regulation approved by the European Parliament.’

Notes

For more information and to email your MEPs, visit our specially designed page

Read more about the BHA’s work on ritual slaughter

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

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief. It exists to support and represent people who seek to live good and responsible lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.