Rival e-petition launched in support of non-stun slaughter

A e-petition in support of religious slaughter in the UK and the EU is gaining momentum, amassing more than 60,000 signatures in one week.

The e-petitionwas set up by Mohammed Amin last Friday (13 February), and calls for the government to continue to protect the right to non-stun religious slaughter in the UK. Amin is chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum and co-chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester (MJF Manchester). The decision to launch the petition was made by MJF Manchester together with the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region.

Currently a trending e-petition, it states that Judaism and Islam require adherents - someone in support of a particular party of set of beliefs - to treat animals with kindness and to minimise pain when slaughtering.

It also provides a link to evidence which it says shows minimisation of suffering when religious slaughter is performed properly.

"Stunning in abattoirs frequently fails to effectively stun the animal, thereby causing suffering. The British Veterinary Association and others opposing religious slaughter should focus on improving the competence of slaughterers who stun, instead of attacking methods that have been shown to minimise suffering," reads the petition.

An anonymous source said it was likely that the total number of signatures would hit the 100,000 target over the weekend, with literatureto behanded out at mosques across the Midlands today. Currently, more than 600 people have signed the petition in the past hour.

The source added that while it was previously thought that Muslims were in favour of pre-stunning, by an 80/20 majority, he believed this had shifted much more in favour of non-stun recently. He added that if meat is labelled as non-stunned or stunned - as many are calling for - he believed the majority of Muslims would choose non-stunned, given the option.

The new petition was launched two weeks after the British Veterinary Associations (BVA)e-petition, calling for an end to non-stun slaughter, reached its 100,000 signature target. Earlier this week a date was set to debate the BVA petition in Westminster Hall.

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