Join Donate

BHA responds to consultation and 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 Killing, urging the Government to repeal exemptions to allow ritual slaughter of animals without pre-stunning.

Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs  commented ‘It is vital 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 and exemptions afforded to religious groups to allow for slaughter of animals without pre-stunning undoubtedly contradicts that principle. We fully support the recommendations of the Farm Animal Welfare Council that slaughter without pre-stunning is unacceptable and that the Government should repeal the current exemption .’

‘There is no reason why this Government cannot work with the religious communities concerned 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 Dhaliwal 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.’


For further comment or information, contact Pavan Dhaliwal at or 0207 079 3585

Read our response to the Defra consultation here

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 promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.


Search Humanists UK