It is with regret that I heard of the death of David Taylor MP. My condolences to his family.
Over the past 18 months, David has worked with me to help promote better standards of production and the introduction of a standard assurance scheme for the slaughter of halal meat for the benefit of the Muslim community here in the UK.
Working with Eblex, the industry body of the English Beef and Lamb sector, I have produced a DVD, called A Quality Meat Supply Chain for the Muslim Consumer. This work was presented to David, who in turn has promoted better standards for halal meat production across the parties at Westminster for the betterment of the Muslim community here in the UK. David was a member of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) and was a keen supporter of animal welfare issues. With his support we have raised the standard by which animals are slaughtered for the halal meat market and helped move halal meat from a Group 4 product a food for which there is no recognised assurance scheme to a Group 1 product, a food with an assurance scheme such as Red Tractor, within the issue of Public Sector Food Procurement.
Without his support, the Muslim community here in the UK would have been denied assured halal meat. As a member of EFRA, he felt that the UK was missing out on the billion-pound exports of halal meat to the Middle East and the regeneration of the farming community.