Jewish leaders join calls for clearer meat labelling

Jewish leaders join calls for clearer meat labelling

Jewish and Muslim leaders have urged the more comprehensive labelling of animal products in the UK after renewed calls for the “pejorative” labelling of Halal and Kosher meat.

Henry Grunwald
Henry Grunwald of Shechita UK

“Consumers should be informed,” wrote Henry Grunwald of Shechita UK and Dr Shuja Shafi from the Muslim Council of Britain, in a co-authored letter published last week in the Daily Telegraph.

This should include information about “whether an animal has been mechanically stunned prior to slaughter and whether it has endured repeat stuns if the first attempt was ineffective,” they said.

The pair continued, adding: “They [consumers] should also be told the method of slaughter: captive bolt shooting, gassing, electrocution, drowning, trapping, clubbing or any of the other approved methods.”

Jewish groups have long sought a system which does not stigmatise faith communities.

However calls for what Shechita UK called “pejorative labelling of Halal and Kosher meat” have increased in recent weeks, with a petition sponsored by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) supported by the RSPCA gaining over 20,000 signatures in its first few days.

In 2010, Britain rejected an EU initiative to label meat stunned before slaughter, on the grounds that it discriminated against Jewish and Muslim communities. Since then, The European Council of Ministers put the proposals out for review and its findings are due next month.

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