Let’s Stop the Scaremongering Around Religious Slaughter and Face the Facts

7th March 2014

This week the president-elect of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) John Blackwell called for a ban on Zabiha and Shechita methods of slaughter if Muslims and Jews cannot find a “humane method of killing”.

Dr Shuja Shafi, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) expressed his concern at the lack of evidence, before making such profound statements. He said, “Zabiha is a humane method of slaughter where an animal’s welfare is at the core of one’s belief. Islam preserves the sanctity of both human and animal life”.

“We do not accept Mr Blakewell’s comments as there are clear, precise methods of carrying out religious slaughter which takes due diligence so as not to cause suffering to an animal”.

The Muslim Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) published a joint article in the Guardian yesterday, defining clearly the traditional method of religious slaughter without causing pain to an animal, compared to pain that can be suffered through conventional methods such as stunning. Both Muslims and Jews stand firm for Zabiha and Shechita methods of slaughter.

The MCB (alongside Shechita UK) have also championed the right to non-discriminatory labelling stating that if non-stunned (halal/kosher) meat is to be labelled, then stunned meat should also be labelled indicating the manner of stunning (ie by a shot in the head, electrocution or gassing) to help consumers make an informed choice when buying meat.


Notes to Editors: 

1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over
500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques,
charities and schools.

2. Other articles:

House of Lords Debate on Religious Slaughter

3. For further information please contact:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
E1 2WJ
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079

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