Jewish community leaders this week acknowledged that the campaign to ban shechita was “gaining significant momentum” as a parliamentary debate about non-stun slaughter was announced for 23 February.
It comes after the British Veterinary Association’s online petition finally gained 100,000 signatures.
Shimon Cohen from Shechita UK said the relatively slow rate at which the signatures were gained “shows that the media storm around religious slaughter is not necessarily reflected by the public interest”.
However, he admitted that “there is no doubt the campaign against shechita is gaining significant momentum,” adding that “the Jewish community will be forced to defend the way that we prepare our meat”.
Although the parliamentary debate is due to hear from MPs from UKIP and the Green Party, which oppose religious non-stun slaughter, the Government is not expected to change its position on the issue.
Organisations like the RSPCA support the ban on killing animals for meat in the UK without prior stunning them first. Last year, 2.4 million sheep and goats were killed without being stunned in halal and shechita abattoirs.