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Ban the religious slaughter of animals without first stunning them

Submitted by Jeremy Davis on Tuesday 12th April 2022

Published on Tuesday 19th April 2022

Current status: Closed

Closed: Wednesday 2nd November 2022

Signatures: 12,863

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

animal welfare ~ Animals ~ Barbaric ~ Cuts ~ Cutting ~ Halal ~ Law ~ level ~ Made ~ Madely ~ Remove ~ RSPCA ~ Stunning

Petition Action

Ban the religious slaughter of animals without first stunning them

Petition Details

Muslim & Jewish communities are exempt from the legal requirement to stun animals before slaughter. All Shechita (Jewish) & 42% of Halal (Muslim) slaughter involves cutting an animal's throat without stunning it

We ask the govt to remove this exemption to the law & end this barbaric practice

Additional Information

(From a 2003 report on animal welfare)

"The level of restraint of conscious animals required for slaughter without pre-stunning was far greater than for conventional slaughter.

A large cut made across the neck of a conscious animal would "result in very significant pain and distress" before the animal loses consciousness (around 5 to 7 seconds for sheep, 22 to 40 seconds for adult cattle)"

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/farm/slaughter/religiousslaughte

Slaughter without pre-stunning is barbaric & the law prohibiting it must applied to all communities


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Wednesday 26th October 2022

The Government would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter. However, we respect the rights of Jews and Muslims to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs.

The Government encourages the highest standards of animal welfare at slaughter and would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter. However, we are committed to upholding the rights of Jews and Muslims to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Legislation sets out the main requirements to protect the welfare of animals at slaughter. There are additional rules that apply when animals are slaughtered without stunning to ensure that animals are spared avoidable pain, suffering, or distress during the slaughter process. Official Veterinarians of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are present in all approved slaughterhouses to monitor and enforce these animal welfare requirements.

A significant proportion of halal meat comes from animals that are stunned before slaughter, and the 2022 FSA Slaughter Sector Survey shows that this is around 85% in the case of white meat and 69% in the case of red meat in England and Wales. The ‘Demonstration of Life Protocol’, an industry-led initiative supported by the Government, provides assurance for Muslim consumers that stunning is compatible with halal slaughter requirements, while protecting the welfare of the animals involved.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

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