Leading vet criticises ritual slaughter of animals
Published: 5th May 2012 03:01:30
A leading vet has criticised the "unacceptable" rise in the number of animals killed in ritual slaughter.
Ritual slaughter is lawful in the UK and the EU to satisfy the dietary requirements of Jews and Muslims.
Prof Bill Reilly, former president of the British Veterinary Association, said estimates suggested more animals were slaughtered than was necessary.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said its own figures showed most animals were stunned before being killed.
The FSA conducted a survey into animal welfare in slaughterhouses in September.
A spokesman said: "The results indicate that the number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter is relatively low, accounting for 3% of cattle, 10% of sheep and goats, and 4% of poultry.
"They also show that the majority of animals destined for the halal trade in both the red and white meat sectors are stunned before slaughter."
The FSA said full details of the survey would be published ahead of a discussion at a board meeting on 22 May.
But Prof Reilly, writing in the Veterinary Record, said: "In my view, the current situation is not acceptable and, if we cannot eliminate non-stunning, we need to keep it to the minimum.
"This means restricting the use of halal and kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs and, where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives."
He suggested some abattoirs might be refusing to stun animals simply to cut costs.
UK legislation allows halal (Muslim) or schecita (Jewish) "non-stun" slaughter as long as it does not cause "unnecessary suffering".
But Prof Reilly said he witnessed schecita slaughter in the 1970s and he wrote: "The distress, fear and pain were there for all to see in the abattoir."
Prof Reilly said his own estimates suggested around two million animals, mostly poultry, were killed in the UK each year without stunning for the orthodox Jewish community.
Halal meat now accounted for 25% of the entire UK meat market, Prof Reilly added. Anecdotal evidence suggested that almost half of lambs destined for slaughter were killed without prior stunning.
Joyce D'Silva, from the charity Compassion in World Farming (CWF), said: "Judaism and Islam believe that animals are creatures of God; science tells us that they are sentient beings, who can suffer.
"If you hold either view, or both, then your principle concern must be to ensure the least possible suffering for the animal concerned.
"Therefore animals should be handled with care and stunned effectively before their throats are cut in order to minimise their distress and pain.
"Consumers should be able to tell how the animals they eat are reared, transported and slaughtered," he added.
At 02:59:17 in WorldIsrael says its military offensive in Gaza targets militants from the Palestinian movement, Hamas. Yet for the most part the Islamist fighters remain shadowy figures during this latest conflict.
At 02:40:45 in WorldThe people of Syria continue to die in greater numbers than anyone can accurately count.
At 02:28:15 in HeadlinesRival armed groups in the Central African Republic have signed a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending over a year of religious conflict.
At 02:18:38 in BusinessGeneral Motors (GM) is recalling an additional 717,949 vehicles due to a range of issues, including loose bolts and potentially incomplete welding on some seat hooks.
At 02:00:40 in EntertainmentNew camera technology is allowing wildlife film-makers to get ever more stunning shots. But can we believe everything we see on natural history programmes? And why do hyenas keep eating the cameras?
At 01:56:51 in WorldA year after a high-speed train derailed on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, survivors and relatives of some of the 80 people who died accuse current and previous Spanish governments of having failed to prevent the accident.
At 01:52:11 in HeadlinesA total of 167 people lost their lives off the UK coastline last year - the highest number since 2010.
At 01:41:41 in WorldShe is a trained electrical engineer, a widowed mother of two, and has endured "fat" jibes from people watching her on court.
At 01:16:21 in WorldVoters will go to the polls in September to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country. But what other Europeans are pressing for independence and how closely are they watching Scotland?
At 01:04:58 in EnglandA jail in Nottinghamshire where four inmates killed themselves in less than a year has been described as a "prison in crisis" in a damning report.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Leading vet criticises ritual slaughter of animals [Online] (Updated 5th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426688/Leading-vet-criticises-ritual-slaughter-of-animals [Accessed 24th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
General Motors (GM) is recalling an additional 717,949 vehicles due to a range of issues, including loose bolts and potentially incomplete welding on some seat hooks.
Eighteen websites have been suspended and arrests made during a campaign, being revamped on Thursday, against pensions cash "predators".
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
New camera technology is allowing wildlife film-makers to get ever more stunning shots. But can we believe everything we see on natural history programmes? And why do hyenas keep eating the cameras?
Israel says its military offensive in Gaza targets militants from the Palestinian movement, Hamas. Yet for the most part the Islamist fighters remain shadowy figures during this latest conflict.
TV star Courteney Cox surprised travellers in Londonderry when she arrivied at the city's airport on Wednesday.