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Killing the halal way

Ed: We have received this communication from Cllr Brian Silvester and, given the interest shown for this subject in UKIPD, we’re happy to publish it.


In December 2017 I raised a number of questions about halal slaughter in the UK with the Food Standards Agency.

The FOI questions and the responses are below.

How many halal abattoirs are there in the UK?
What percentage is that of the total number of abattoirs?
How many animals of each type are killed in halal abattoirs each year?

Once approved for slaughter, every slaughterhouse has the capability to carry out religious slaughter with or without prior stunning provided that the requirements in the Regulations are followed. There is no separate approval process for slaughter under a specific religious belief, other than the approval of boxes used for the restraint of cattle slaughtered by a religious method without stunning. Until March 2017 the FSA did not routinely record those premises which were carrying out religious slaughter with or without prior stunning. Details including the number of non-stun plants for April 2017 – June 2017 was provided to the FSA Open Board in September 2017 and can be found in Annex 2 here.

Why are halal abattoirs allowed to cut the throats of animals to kill them without stunning them first?

The right to observe and practice religion is enshrined in Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Council Regulation (EC)1099/2009 allows EU member states to consider derogation from stunning in case of religious slaughter taking place in slaughterhouses, in accordance with the above. This link sets out (EC) 1099/2009 in full.

Are any animals stunned before they are killed in a halal abattoir?
If so, what proportion of the total?

Some animals killed under the halal method are stunned. The FSA does not routinely collect this data but it was last collected in the 2013 survey.

All FSA animal welfare surveys, including the May 2016 CCTV survey, can be found here.

Who checks to see if the stunning is sufficient to make the animal unconscious before it is killed?

The person stunning an animal is responsible for ensuring that the stun is applied correctly and either they or another person at that point will carry out checks to ensure that the animal is stunned and remains unconscious until dead. There is a requirement in EC 1099/2009 for the Food Business Operator to have in place Standard Operating Procedures and to carry out checks to verify that they are working in compliance with the requirements in that legislation.

In each of the last five years has there been any prosecutions for cruelty to animals in a Halal abattoir?

The FSA does not hold this information. Under the Welfare at Time of Killing (WATOK) legislation, the Crown Prosecution Service has the power to prosecute on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in instances where animals are not spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering. Under the legislation that the FSA enforce there is no such offence as ‘cruelty to animals’, which implies intent; there only needs to be proof that animals have been caused unnecessary suffering.

Does the new provision to have CCTV in abattoirs apply to halal abattoirs?
Who will be able to view this CCTV footage? 
Will your inspectors be able to view it? If so, how often will it be done?

This policy and supporting legislation is currently under development, and is the responsibility of Defra. The FSA does not know the full scope or extent to which this measure will be applied.

Details of the Government’s consultation and findings can be found here.

Is the health inspection of killed meat in halal abattoirs exactly the same as non-halal abattoirs?

There is no difference in the post mortem inspection of meat in plants which carry out religious slaughter.

How do you ensure that halal meat is not sold to non-Muslims, which is illegal?

FSA does not have responsibility for labelling and traceability. This policy sits with Defra. Please contact Defra for further information. Their contact details can be found here.

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17 Comments on Killing the halal way

  1. Is this serious? The United Kingdom Islam Party discussing Halal slaughter.

  2. And….. Whilst Agnew is ‘in charge’ of our animal welfare etc Ukip stand NO chance. I’ve spoken face to face with Bolton but I’d have got more commitment from a dead slug! Get rid of Agnew NOW.

  3. Stun to kill only in UK (resulting in immediate death). Accompanied by Choice – ritually/religiously slaughtered meats to be strictly labelled IMPORTS ONLY. The Zakat tax can then be paid by those choosing to buy it and support Islam as this tax goes solely to Islam. Alongside the wonderful opportunity for our caring farmers to continue to be assured of their animals care aad welfare continues after its death. UK could be the country exporting humanely slaughtered meats to country’s not wanting ritually/religiously slaughtered meats. We must never forget that these animals are bred solely for our greedy bellies. They have no voice, they have no choice. While we’re on the subject… Is everyone contacting their Councils and Councillors to see if schools etc supply ritually/religiously slaughtered meats etc to the children. Instead of us bowing to the minority who threaten to boycott school meals why don’t WE threaten to boycott instead. We are the MAJORITY. Come on guys, put your money where your mouth is. We can be so very strong. Please try, for our animals and our country and cultures sake.

  4. This type of barbaric practice should never have been allowed in the first place, it should be banned now. I most certainly do not believe religious grounds should be exempt. Why there has not be a major outcry on this is beyond me.

  5. Can we please stop terming non stun slaughter “Halal” The Kosha method of non stun slaughter is every bit as barbaric as the Muslim method.If anyone wishes to see with their own eyes just how evil this whole vile practice really is,there are plenty of postings on You Tube.I warn you though.Once seen, never forgotten.
    Please refer to all religious slaughter from now on as “ Non Stun”
    Finally.Quite how this abomination was ever allowed in this civilised country frankly baffles my….

  6. Yet again, the civilised world looks the other way where religion is concerned. Either we have laws that apply to all or not. It is pure cowardice and needs to be tackled now, while we have some chance of success.

  7. People are very short sighted when it comes to Halal slaughter. I have seen and heard the argument that it is not a major issue and that it s not something that we should be interested in. However i believe that it is an issue that goes to the very core of what a party like UKIP should stand for and represent.
    We think of ourselves as a civilised Country in a civilised Continent. To that end we have seen the updating of religion to match modern society. We have seen society change, modernise and most believe become more humane.
    How in all honesty can we allow what is effectively the torturing and brutal killing of animals to placate mediaeval beliefs?
    We have abolished many practices, including slavery, because we no longer think that they should be practiced in our 21st century world.
    Yet we allow others to continue an abhorrent practice that we ourselves do not allow or permit, except for these others, who follow outdated mediaeval practices.
    Oh for a party to stand against ritual killing of animals, a party that stands for modern, humane treatment of all life across the board.
    Not like the mainstream establishment that allows contradiction of our standards and beliefs for pathetic excuses, but is no more than appeasement.

  8. Stopping halal slaughter is one of a number of ways to make the invader realise that he is not welcome here. Any other measure that contributes to that is to be welcomed.

    Will UKIP stand up for native Brits or, like the other parties, submit to the enemy?

  9. OK, Let’s remove it from the GB universal rights. This will signal our superiority to the EU, and maybe stop a few Imams or ayatollahs or whatever from coming here.Also maybe the odd Rabbi as I think they’re tarred with the same brush of medieval practices.

  10. Also: why is kosher slaughter getting a free pass here? Same vice, same concerns.

    • In general, we tend to dislike any unstunned slaughter, including kosher. I think the reason we tend to refer to halal slaughter is because it’s being pushed onto the general public without our being aware of it.

      The above link is to a website which you might find interesting and useful.

      Kind regards.

  11. I would be willing to bet the responsibility finally ends with the shopkeeper. Can you imagine the corner shop having to explain to Mrs Smith.

    The source of this idiocy is the Retail Price Mainainance Act. This Act Foisted on the public as a money saver,was a preconsideration for joining the Common Market. Eagerly supported by Ted Heath and Philip Green and the EU. It’s whole purpose was the destruction of British manufacturing. It worked,-Part of DeGaul’s hatred of Britain.

    It is essential this Act be repealed at the first opportunity together with the iniquitous VAT Act ( whose whole purpose was power to the Civil Service ).( And tax for EU of course )

    • I don’t understand this. What is the connection between RPM and Halal slaughter?

      The Resale Prices Act 1964 abolished all RPM except where an individual product group case could be sustained. I cannot see how this had a bearing on the demise of British manufacturing which was more the victim of a failure of government to regulate industrial relations and the management of the electrical engineering industry who were allowed to firstly to aggregate most businesses in this sector and then flog them off to the Germans.

      If you want blame anything for this train of event look no further than the FPTP election system which has allowed an egregious duopoly to destroy our enterprises and way of life.

  12. Going to the party conference, in Bournemouth, my wife and I visited an Indian restaurant for a meal. While we were there, a Muslim woman came in for a take away, asking if the meat was halal. The owner insisted that all there meat was Halal, and nothing else. We asked why no sign is on display explaining this, and he said that it’s not enforced by law to do this. We cancelled our meal, and left.
    This must be changed for customers who object to Halal slaughter.

    • There is no legal requirement for a retailer to state what type of slaughterhouse the meat comes from. This is why so much meat from halal slaughterhouses is being secretly sold in supermarkets.

      You might like to have a look at this website…

      I am lucky enough to have a farm butcher who has his own independent licensed abbatoir. Not only is he able to assure me that all animals are fully stunned before slaughter but he raises his own beef and lamb so zero food miles. Pork and poultry sourced from other local farms therefore minimal food miles.

      As for the taste of his produce – best I’ve ever had. In fact I can, even as I write, smell the wonderful aroma of the rib of beef I have cooking for today’s meal.

  13. There is some misinformation regarding stunning in Halal abattoirs, which we must all be aware of when conducting this debate.

    It is true that some Halal abattoirs do use stunning before cutting the throat. However, within Islam, the principle of taqiyya means that Muslims are at liberty to deceive non-Muslims for the furtherance of Islam.

    There is a half-truth being deployed here. The stunning they use is the inadequate “stun to stun” type, not the more humane “stun to kill”, which vets recommend. The half-truth is that they are trying to convince non-Muslims that these abattoirs are behaving humanely, when in fact they are falling well short of the requirement to behave humanely.

    We should be campaigning against “stun to stun”. We should be campaigning for “stun to kill” to be applied in all abattoirs. With “stun to stun” the animal can regain consciousness before all the blood has drained, and so it can still experience pain and distress.

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