Film highlights religious sheep slaughtering practices

The industry levy board has produced a film to address the lack of understanding around religious sheep slaughter.

The educational film, which was produced by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef & Lamb, illustrates best practice for stun, post-cut stun and non-stun in religious slaughter. Its purpose is to increase general understanding among a wider audience.

Our video is a go-to resource to highlight best practice in methods of slaughter, said Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain.

We also hope it will clarify some misconceptions about halal production in particular. It will enable those with an interest in this area to form opinions based on evidence and help ensure that debate on the subject is fully informed.

Normal practice in the UK is for animals to be stunned prior to slaughter, including stunned halal. The current regulation regarding the slaughter of livestock expressly permits a derogation for the use of non-stun slaughter for religious rites and is therefore both a regulated practice in England.

Hadley added that AHDB is aware that many public misconceptions still persist. Halal, for example, does not mean non-stun, per se, he explained. Food Standards Agency (FSA) data demonstrates that the majority of halal slaughter is in fact stunned, a point often misunderstood. Stunned halal adheres to the same animal welfare standards as products destined for the non-halal market.

It is imperative that any constructive debate on the subject is underpinned by broader knowledge of the subject matter. Our film provides transparency and clarity on the subject and I would therefore encourage anyone with an interest in this field to use it as a key resource.

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