Gransnet forums


Halal meat

(95 Posts)
POGS Thu 10-May-12 20:47:55

April 24th a Tory M.P. lost a motion to get all meat produce labelled as to whether or not it was halal produced.

This is a report in a well known newspaper, what do you think.

A leading vet has called for a crackdown on the rising sale of meat from animals that have not been stunned prior to slaughter.
Bill Reilly, a former president of the British Veterinary Association said killing conscious animals by slitting their throats caused them distress, fear and pain.
Stunning animals before slaughter is MANDATORY in the U.K., although there are are exemptions on religious grounds to produce halal meat for islam and kosher meat for judaism.

He went on to say 25% of the meat market is now halal produced and is being sold to unwitting customers in supermarkets and takeaways.

I for one would want to know if the meat I buy was halal and unlike some of the M.P.s who tried to make it a racist point of view I fully understand the requirement for halal and kosher meat but I don't feel I should not be told as the consumer. I also think it would be a good idea for those who need to buy halal meat in a supermarket etc., to be able to buy for their religious requirements too. Am I wrong?

POGS Wed 04-Feb-15 15:54:19

Yes , I hope so.

When I started this thread in 2012 I became interested as I had watched the debate in parliament in there was quite a bit of media coverage re halal meat production around the same time.

I can only hope that a stunned animal is, as the British Vetinary Association says , kinder to the animal. Obviously none of us will know for sure but we make a choice based on what bit of formation is out there and whether we believe free range eggs are better than caged, organic is best etc. is a personal decision to make .

I would not buy halal meat out of choice but I don't have the opportunity to know , I think it is probably a case those who do want halal food would like to be reassured also, no brainer.

Riverwalk Wed 04-Feb-15 14:38:29

As would I POGS, given the chance, but do you think normal slaughter is really any better?

I rather think we all kid ourselves.

POGS Wed 04-Feb-15 14:28:31

Well I would choose to avoid it but I don't have the choice. That's the issue.

Riverwalk Wed 04-Feb-15 14:19:56

Those of us who eat meat can't rest on our laurels and simply avoid halal/kosher - all animal slaughter is unpleasant.

Stunning is an inexact science and often not applied accurately or effectively.

Over the years there have been a number of hidden-camera revelations of what really goes on in 'normal' abattoirs.

Anya Wed 04-Feb-15 13:52:42

Nigel, bless him, is to the world of politics what Dracula is to blood banks.

TriciaF Wed 04-Feb-15 13:44:17

The halal method is derived from the kosher method - most Muslims will eat kosher meat. There has been constant pressure on the Jewish community to accept stunning, and it's ongoing. If it was successful Jews would get their meat from elsewhere eg Argentina, but it would be more expensive.
As to labelling, as someone said, certain cuts aren't regarded as kosher, and beasts which have various deformities are regarded as non kosher so rather than waste them they're sold to the nonjewish market after slaughter. Labelling would make them harder to sell.
Did anyone hear the item on LBC this morning about the letter that N. Farage wrote to the Jewish chroonicle? Saying Ukip would ban ritual slaughter and apologised to the Jews but he wasn't getting them, they just happened to be in the the line of fire (nudge nudge wink wink!)

NfkDumpling Wed 04-Feb-15 12:02:06

I think we can all help by buying only from a butcher (independent or supermarket) and asking loudly if the meat is kosher or halal. Don't buy prepacked. The butcher should know.

(Asking where the chicken comes from can give interesting answers too)

POGS Wed 04-Feb-15 11:32:37


Thank you .

I think it's the case that halal/kosher meat production has always been known of and it was accepted that those of the Jewish/Muslim faith had a religious reason for halal/kosher slaughtered food production. I think there was a perception that whilst there was an agreement in the law for halal/kosher slaughtered food it was being sold to those who required halal/kosher food at specialistspecialist/local food outlets giving the buyer confidence their food was halal/kosher to comply with their religious belief.

It is now the case halal/kosher food is not the domain of only those who require halal/kosher food as it is now so widely available in the main stream food chain in our supermarkets, schools, NHS etc. Natural progression, yes, a problem, yes to some.

Why? Because if the right of those who require halal/kosher food is respected then it must be the case that those who don't have that requirement should be respected equally and know how the food they eat/buy has been produced too.

It is easy to please everybody by simply having food labelling informing us whether food is halal/kosher produced or not, it is showing respect to all purchasers nobody is being given priority or disrespected. We have labelling for organic food, country of origin but not for the method of production and a lot of people think stunning an animal and conforming with that law is important to know.

The video of the Bowood slaughter house makes a pure mockery of the concept of halal/kosher production. It will disgust everybody irrespective of their religious faith. The whole system needs debating but food labelling is a good way to start.

It is not anti Muslim it simply is a fact that this issue is Muslim related so it is impossible to not make a connection. It is impossible to debate/change the law if racism is used to shut the debate down, as happened in parliament.

Anya Wed 04-Feb-15 10:50:48

OK, I've been reading up on Kosher slaughter

Kosher slaughter, when performed according to Halacha (Jewish law), is intended to minimize animals’ suffering.

Kosher slaughter, or shechita, is performed by a person known as a shochet, who has received special education and instruction in the requirements of shechita. The shochet kills the animal with a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a sharp knife. When performed properly, shechita appears all but painless and quickly renders the animal unconscious.

The underpining principle is that the animal should not be frightened or hurt. If it is then the meat can be declared non-kosher even after the kill.

BUT this isn't actually happening in certain Jewish slaughterhouses. The way the animals are being killed would actually be considered non-kosher yet the meat is still being sold as kosher. PETA filmed instances of this.

It's the old story. Commercialisation and expediency. In all our slaughterhoueses - of whatever religious or non religious flavour.

No thought for the poor animal ending its life terrified - and probably releasing stress hormones into the meat.

Good on you vegetarians. I admire you.

Anya Wed 04-Feb-15 10:36:19

There has been a call by vets and farmers to have CCT in all slaughterhouses including the area where the killing takes place. If this was law AND the slaughtermen made aware of it and the fact that their licences can be withdrawn it would surely stop the cruelly we've seen.

I don't know what the Kosher rules for slaughter are, only the halal ones. I'd be interested to learn the difference.

nightowl Wed 04-Feb-15 10:30:58

POGS I don't disagree with you; as I tried to make clear I am completely opposed to any form of ritual slaughter that involves greater cruelty than necessary to kill an animal. My point about anti-Muslim feeling is that Kosher slaughter has been going on in the UK without any fuss that I am aware of for most of the last century, after stunning was introduced, and even now it is only Halal slaughter that seems to cause an outcry. This to me suggests that this protest is in part jumped on by those who are anti-Muslim rather than just those who object to animal cruelty. In fact, if Kosher slaughter was included more often in the protests it would focus the issue more firmly where it belongs - on purely animal welfare grounds.

POGS Wed 04-Feb-15 09:42:54

There has been a 'fuss' then it goes away until the next time.

Politicians have had the opportunity to act but they didn't want to be ' seen 'as racist or thought it ' is ' racist to say halal meat should comply with our regulations and the animal should be stunned or at least food labelled so that the buyer can make a decision. The fact is the vote was lost in parliament as Labour MP's voted against it. I watched the debate and vote outcome and I was disgusted by some of the comments to be honest. I would have thought animal welfare was the predominant factor but there you go, you see the best and the worst in people.

There has been plenty said that bad practice/cruelty is not a problem for only halal meat producing outlets but the fact remains the stunning of animals is going to mean discussing those who want kosher food.

To say this is another time that ' Muslims are seen to be fair game and the anti Muslim hysteria is reaching a point in some places ' is precisely why this keeps going on. It is playing the race card and you can just see how politicians fight shy of doing the right thing. angry.

nightowl Wed 04-Feb-15 08:38:33

I really don't understand the objection to labelling meat as Halal or Kosher. Well actually I think I do, it's because so much of the animal can't be consumed under religious rules and it has to be offloaded on to the market somehow. As well as which, politicians are terrified that they will be labelled as racist if they are seen to support such a move. So the objections are a) commercial and b) political. When in fact much Halal meat around the world (notably New Zealand) is produced using pre-stunning and it should be perfectly possible to have sensible discussions about how greater animal welfare standards can be introduced whilst adhering to religious requirements.

The issue of Kosher slaughter is more complex and I'm not sure whether pre-stunning can be acceptable under these rules. Perhaps someone on here knows? I think it is interesting that there has so far been little fuss about Kosher slaughter. Just another example of how Muslims seem to be seen as fair game in today's climate. (I'm not saying that Jewish people don't experience prejudice because I know they do, just that anti-Muslim feeling seems to be reaching hysteria point in some places).

Just to be clear I think abuses happen in all abbatoirs, but I think there is something particularly abhorrent in cutting the throat of a fully conscious animal.

Anya Wed 04-Feb-15 07:24:15

The animals ought to be stunned first and most of the time they are not. The thinking behind not stunning is ignorance as many think the animals are killed by the stunning whereas they are supposed to bleed to death.

Riverwalk Wed 04-Feb-15 07:06:23

As a meat eater I can't criticise religious slaughter but I can see no justification for not labelling it as such. Just as with GM foods, I have no objection to it but we must know what we are buying.

As for the sadists caught on camera (and this behaviour is not limited to halal abattoirs) I really do hope they are prosecuted, particularly the swine who is said to have deliberately sharpened his knife in the face of the terrified animal - what pleasure did he get from that?

Anya Tue 03-Feb-15 23:01:53

I hope not. I've had several people send me the petition to sign and I believe they've reached the 100,00 required for Parliament to do something.

But, the reaction on GN has hardly been overwhelming has it?

Too busy getting upset about green tea!

POGS Tue 03-Feb-15 22:15:44


I guess the news coverage was altered as the day progressed.

I guess it will be tomorrows chip paper news, again. sad

Anya Tue 03-Feb-15 11:58:23

Well done for bumping this POGS it is time this was outlawed I agree.

POGS Tue 03-Feb-15 11:14:55

It's Bowood Yorkshire Lamb by the way.

POGS Tue 03-Feb-15 10:58:06

Bump from 10th May 2012

I have bumped this thread as I just hope the opposition benches who opposed the motion by Conservative MP Philip Davies from getting halal meat 'at least' labelled as such are ashamed of their tactics stopping it going through. I heard Labour MP's even using racism in the debate they were quite pathetic.

Well now there is the case being reported today showingshowing video evidence of abuse at a halal slaughter house and I hope he raises it again in Parliament. He does keep trying but he might just 'shame' Labour into passing legislation this time as this slaughter house is disgusting and it is cruel.

I was pleased to see the Muslim community has condemned the slaughter house also.

It's high time slaughter houses whether they are halal producers or not are on CCTV and halal meat has labelling in our food outlets as I certainly want to know. angry

jeni Mon 04-Jun-12 18:17:33

Only because I don't know of any! I enjoy general knowledge, but pass on pop, sport and geography!

Anagram Mon 04-Jun-12 18:07:00

As I thought.

I am a sad old bat!

Never mind....grin

jeni Mon 04-Jun-12 17:51:43

That wouldn't be difficult! I don't do any!

Anagram Mon 04-Jun-12 17:38:02

Well, I probably do more trivia quizzes than you! grin

jeni Mon 04-Jun-12 17:03:14

Nor me!