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The British Veterinary Association (BVA) petition instigated in May 2014 attracted more than 100,000 signatures, triggering a parliamentary debate

Support for a petition calling for religious slaughter to be safeguarded has surpassed one calling for it to be banned, writes Justin Cohen.

More than 122,000 people have signed the online petition in less than two weeks, as MPs prepare to debate the issue in a Westminster Hall debate this afternoon.

The petition, started by Manchester’s Muslim Jewish Forum chair Mohammed Amin, says: “Judaism and Islam require adherents to treat animals with kindness and to minimise pain. Scientific evidence shows minimisation of suffering when religious slaughter is practised properly.”

It adds: “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.”

Today’s debate was triggered when a petition calling for the end of the exemption that enables Jews and Muslims to perform non-stun slaughter. More than 116,000 people have backed that petition, which was launched last year.

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