Friday, 7 January 2011

It’s not just Halal it’s Kosher as well!!

On Radio Cymru Taro’r Post the Rev Geraint Morse called for all Halal meat to be labelled clearly. Now there's no problem with that as such, but I take issue with the argument he put forward, which was that he objected to the actual prayer said during the killing? - as if that was the most important thing to the welfare of the animal.

Absolute claptrap and utter rubbish. In the first instance lets get some facts straight, Halal meat is killed in a very similar way to Kosher meat. But I don’t think he mentioned the Jewish community.

Maybe he had missed the following report in the Independent, 21 June 2010 by Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

New EU rules require compulsory labelling of halal meat.

Millions of cows, goats and chickens are slaughtered without stunning each year in the UK under Muslim and Jewish practices, which enjoy an exemption from animal welfare laws.

The RSPCA, other welfare organisations and the Government's veterinary experts say the practice is cruel and should be ended, but another concern is that the meat re-enters the general food chain where it is unwittingly consumed by the general population.

In a series of votes on food labelling this week, which also backed compulsory country-of-origin labelling on all meat, MEPs voted by 559 to 54 for compulsory labelling of the religious slaughter of meat without stunning. While kosher and halal meat is well labelled in specialist butchers and food outlets, the regulation would alert general consumers to supplies entering the mainstream food system.

EU member states will have to approve the legislation and it is likely to return to the European Parliament for a second reading. Once adopted, food business will have three years to adapt to the rules. Smaller operators, with fewer than 100 employees and an annual turnover under €5m (£4.2m), will have five years to comply.

Animal welfare groups welcomed the move. Dr Marc Cooper, a farm animal welfare scientist at the RSPCA, said: "Clear labelling is something we have been calling for, so that the welfare-conscious consumer can be informed about the method of slaughter. From a welfare point of view, it's an unnecessary practice. It causes pain and distress."

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said: "The BVA believes that all animals should be effectively stunned before slaughter to improve the welfare of these animals at slaughter. However, as long as slaughter without stunning is permitted, the BVA has argued for any meat from this source to be clearly labelled to enable all consumers to fully understand the choice they are making."

Religious slaughter is banned in Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. The UK has stopped keeping statistics, but Meat Hygiene Service figures from 2004 suggest that 114 million halal animals and 2.1 million kosher animals are killed annually.

One Muslim organisation, the Halal Food Authority, insists that slaughterhouses stun the animals to render them insensible to pain, but in other halal and almost all kosher slaughterhouses, animals bleed to death without stunning.

Religious groups say that doing so would be against their interpretation of religious texts, and they are exempted from the terms of the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995.

In a report last year, the Farm Animal Welfare Council said chicken and turkeys were likely to be conscious for up to 20 seconds after a transverse incision is made across their neck."Such a large cut will inevitably trigger sensory input to pain centres in the brain," the council said. "Such an injury would result in significant pain and distress before insensibility supervenes."

Professor Bill Reilly, president of the BVA, said: "This is a huge step forward in improving the welfare of animals at slaughter. The more consumers understand these issues, the more consumer power can make a difference."

Halal and kosher

*Each year more than £2bn is spent on Halal meat by British Muslims. The Arabic word means "lawful" or "permitted". The opposite of halal is haram. Meat can only be called Halal if the animal is blessed before it is slaughtered.

*Kosher slaughter is predicated on the principle of "tsa'ar ba'alei chayim" (not causing unnecessary suffering to animals). Historically, the kosher killing technique was one of the more humane methods available.

*Traditional halal meat is killed by hand and must be blessed by the slaughterman. More than 70 per cent of animals whose meat is sold as halal are electrically stunned before they are killed.

*Islam has strict laws on the proper method of slaughtering an animal. One, called dhabihah consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein.

*Madonna and Jerry Hall are among celebrities who are reportedly fans of a strict orthodox Jewish diet, while a number of US clinics offer kosher diet therapy.

*KFC is among a growing number of fast-food retailers that have trialled Halal meat in communities where demand is strong. It has 85 stores with an all-halal menu.

*Up to three-quarters of poultry sold as halal in the UK is falsely labelled, a representative from the English Beef and Lamb Executive's halal steering group said. Most is slaughtered by a machine, not an individual.”

In Rev Geraint Morse own words in welsh:

“Fel Cristion, dydw i ddim am fwyta cig sydd wedi ei baratoi o dan reolau Islamaidd, gyda gweddi Arabaidd, boed yn gig wedi ei brynu o'r archfarchnad neu ei fwyta allan mewn pryd bwyd.

Labeli clir

Gofyn am labeli clir ydw i er mwyn sicrhau bod pawb ohonom yn deall beth yr ydym yn ei fwyta. Os ydy'r label yn dweud "Halal", gall Mwslemiaid ei fwyta'n dawel eu cydwybod. Ond os nad yw'n dweud "Halal" gall eraill ohonom fwyta'n dawel ein cydwybod hefyd.

Does dim angen i chi dagu ar eich cig moch bore 'ma, oherwydd does dim y fath beth i gael a chig moch "Halal". Dydi Mwslemiaid ddim yn bwyta porc.

Ond beth am y frechdan cyw iâr ichi wedi paratoi ar gyfer amser cinio, neu'r cig oen ar gyfer swper heno?

Efallai'r peth gorau i'w wneud yw prynu cyw-iâr a chig oen Cymreig. Bydd hyn yn ateb y broblem - efallai!"

or in part translated

"As a Christian, I do not want to eat meat that has been prepared under Islamic rules, with an Arabic prayer, whether meat has been bought from the supermarket or eaten out in a meal. "

Read more : BBC website - Cymru Bywyd


Puck said...

As a (non-practicing) Christian I never ask for my wafer and wine to be humanely prepared and delivered without prayers before consumation.

Oh Joy - My word verification is 'micults'

Anonymous said...

Do we ask people to label themselves as English or Welsh, English or Welsh speakers or whatever.

Most Welsh regard the English as inhumane. And most English regard the Welsh as nothing short of barbaric.

And yet we can all quite happily get by without labelling each other.

Such nonsense.

the outsider said...

there are many double standards around animal welfare. People who are totally against hunting with dogs, for example, often care less about factory farming which is frequently cruel to the animals throughout their lives, and always deprives them of the freedom and ability to enjoy most of their natural animal behaviour.

Paul Williams said...

Some 20 years ago I worked at what is now called the Welsh Country Foods abattoir in Gaerwen -- back when it was locally known as 'Halal'. As the name suggested all the animals there were slaughtered according to the rules of Halal -- with the exception that they were stunned before being killed so as to protect the animal from needless pain.

Unknown said...

Great post about halal eating. Always prefer to Buy Halal Meat Online for more taste and health.