Parliamentary group calls for more halal labelling research

An all party parliamentary group (APPG) for beef and lamb has published a report calling for more research into labelling of halal products.

As reported by labelling of halal products has come under intense scruntiny recently and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched an epetition calling an end to non-turn slaughtering.

The report by The Beef and Lamb APPG, a cross-party group of MPs and peers which aims to ensure that parliamentarians are fully briefed by industry, suggests more research should be done in certain areas. The report highlights the measurement of pain in animals at the time of slaughter; concerns among religious groups that the bleed-out of the carcase is affected by stunning and whether there are methods of recoverable stunning that would be acceptable to some halal consumers, as areas which require further investigating.

The report also suggested a “broader and more measured view” needs to be taken in the media coverage of halal slaughtering.

BVA president and veterinary surgeon Robin Hargreaves highlighted the association had similar concerns: “BVA has long held the position that slaughter without pre-stunning unnecessarily compromises animal welfare at the time of death. We are also concerned that meat from non-stun slaughter is entering the market unlabelled because there is no requirement to label meat and meat products with the method of slaughter. We believe strongly that food should be labelled as stunned or non-stunned and we are delighted that the APPG supports the BVA call for clearer labelling.

“The issue of non-stun slaughter continues to generate media and political interest, and rightly so. Scientific evidence shows that slaughter without pre-stunning compromises animal welfare; a position supported by the Humane Slaughter Association, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the European Food Safety Authority. We have a moral obligation to each animal we keep: any unnecessary pain should be eliminated,” Hargreaves concluded.

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