UKIP changes tack on non-stun slaughter

After backing down from plans to ban non-stun slaughter, UKIP’s new election manifesto supports continuation of the slaughter method, and insists on “formal non-stun training and certification for all religious slaughtermen”.

After secret CCTV footage showed alleged animal welfare abuses in a non-stun abattoir in early 2015, UKIP called for an outright ban on non-stun slaughter. However, the independence party backtracked on the issue, and its manifesto now calls for measures to be put in place to ensure the highest standards are adhered to.

The manifesto stated that UKIP took animal health and welfare seriously, and as well as insisting on formal non-stun training, the party will install CCTV in every abattoir.

There appeared to be confusion over the party’s line in February, when UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew showed concern over a ban on non-stun slaughter. He told the Jewish Chronicle: “This isn’t aimed at you — it’s aimed elsewhere — it’s aimed at others. You’ve been caught in the crossfire – collateral damage.

“We’ll have lost the Jewish vote for sure, they won’t support us now,” he added.

Elsewhere another UKIP MEP, Paul Nuthill, said he was “surprised” at his party’s decision to ban all non-stun methods.

Halal industry adviser Mohammed Saleem said he was pleased with UKIP’s manifesto. He added that he had worked with one of the UKIP candidates on the issue: “I must congratulate Tariq Mahmood of UKIP Stoke on Trent; due to the ongoing dialogue between myself and Tariq Mahmood regarding animal health and welfare for halal and kosher slaughter, UKIP has taken on board and acknowledged the importance of religious slaughter of halal and kosher meat and poultry for the Muslim and the Jewish community, which can be read on page 47 of the UKIP manifesto.”

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