A WORRYING new report has revealed that on average over 120 million animals are slaughtered EVERY YEAR through brutal, inhumane non-stun methods such as Halal – more than three animals every second. In light of this travesty, the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association have joined forces to call on the UK Government to repeal a legal exemption that permits animals to be slaughtered without pre-stunning, causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
In an open letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the BVA and the RSPCA urge the UK Government to change legislation in England which currently allows non-stun slaughter for religious purposes, and provide further public transparency on this issue by releasing the comprehensive 2018 slaughter survey results, which were originally due for release in Autumn 2018.
But are they doing enough? Is the government turning a blind eye? And is there anything else that can be done to finally put an end to this medieval practice?
With a fierce passion and a wealth of knowledge on the issue, For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters has long been campaigning against Halal and all forms of non-stun slaughter. Politicalite caught up with her for some answers.
“It’s shocking but not surprising” Anne Marie reflects on the startling annual figure of non-slaughtered animals. “This amount of religious slaughter to accommodate small minorities is completely unacceptable. The wider British public is unknowingly eating this meat and we must be able to inform them freely what non-stun slaughter entails. We MUST speak out about this.
Despite the government openly stating that it would ‘prefer’ all animals raised for food to be stunned and killed as humanely as possible, various factors are clearly holding back any action from taking place. One such factor is the rise of political correctness.
“The Government panders to religious minorities” Anne Marie says frankly. “As with so many other important issues, it doesn’t have the courage to stick to principles.”
“Stunned slaughter exists for a reason; it reduces the suffering of the animal. To provide an exemption to stunning is political cowardice of the most appalling kind. It is also political trickery – persuading the public they are taking action on animal cruelty while simultaneously encouraging it by providing exemptions.”
On the RSPCA and BVA’s joint campaign, Anne Marie seems optimistic.
“It’s very welcome, and not before time” she says. “But credit where it is due – they are trying to put a stop to it, so they have my support. We’ve got to celebrate every positive development.”
Yet despite a complete ban being completely necessary, it isn’t free of obstacles. The inevitable creation of a black market for Halal and Kosher could lead to a completely unregulated back street industry, with even less focus on animal welfare.
Anne Marie, however, isn’t phased by this and believes that it’s a problem that her party, For Britain, is up to the task of solving.
“Crime occurs” she said, “and will no doubt occur if and when we ban religious slaughter. Across the board we need effective policing, and For Britain knows that this must be prioritised. The answer is simple, we prosecute those who break the law.”
“While we know that a black market could develop, this is entirely different to allowing halal slaughter to happen openly. We have principles and we must stand by them. We can not state we oppose cruelty to animals and then allow it to happen. It is moral cowardice and we must set and keep to certain standards.”
“For Britain would end the religious exemption and demand that slaughter that takes place inside the UK is always carried out using stunning. The animal must be stunned to unconsciousness prior to slaughter. This will take courage but courage is what we have. We can’t fight without courage.”
To sign the RSPCA’s open letter to the Defra Minister, Michael Gove MP, please click on the following link. It takes just a minute to complete the short form. Together, united, we CAN end Halal and all other forms of non-stun slaughter: https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/slaughter/england