Report stating 90 percent of EU oppose shechita ‘patronising and disingenuous’

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Report stating 90 percent of EU oppose shechita ‘patronising and disingenuous’

Shechita UK accuses Eurogroup for Animals' survey of 23,000 people of promoting a 'misguided perception' about kosher and halal meat.

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

A poll of 23,000 Europeans by an animal welfare charity has been condemned as “misguided” and “patronising” for claiming nine-out- of-10 EU citizens oppose animal slaughter without prior stunning.

Of those surveyed in the poll for Eurogroup for Animals, carried out by Savanta ComRes, 89 percent thought that making an animal unconscious before slaughter should be mandatory. Some 88 percent believed stunning should be used in religious practices, and of those surveyed, 90 percent supported the right for individual countries to apply stricter measures to protect animal welfare.

Branding the Eurogroup for Animals “anti-Shechita activists”, Shimon Cohen, campaign director of Shechita UK, said it seemed “intent on promoting a misguided perception that mechanical methods of slaughter are some sort of woozy, medicinal process that gently put animals to sleep”.

Cohen called their claims “patronising and disingenuous” and said it was “disappointing that the Eurogroup for Animals continues to intensify this myth rather than addressing the many important animal welfare issues there are with mechanical slaughter methods”.

“The Eurogroup for Animals is a lobby group with a long term anti-shechita position. Their survey, stands in stark contrast with the recent European Commission Study on Information to Consumers on the Stunning of Animals which clearly states that consumers have no interest in method of slaughter unless prompted.”

The stunning of animals before slaughter is already mandatory in the European Union. However, member states can make exceptions for ‘ritual slaughter’ in line with the kosher requirements of Judaism and Halal rules of Islam.

But some countries, including Denmark, Finland, Slovenia and Sweden, as well as the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia, have already adopted stricter rules, with no exceptions to the mandatory stunning of animals before slaughter.

A legal case over the compliance of the Flemish ban on slaughtering without stunning with EU law is currently going through the European courts. An opinion by the advocate general Gerard Hogan of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ,published in September, rejected the ability of member states to prohibit slaughter without stunning. The CJEU’s final decision is due at the end of this year.

Jewish and Islamic methods of slaughter both intend to cause the least suffering to the animal, by cutting the animal’s throat with a sharp blade. But a number of animal rights activists support the stun gun as a ‘more humane’ option.

The CEO of Eurogroup for Animals, Reineke Hameleers, said: “Citizens have clearly spoken in favour of animals saying it should be mandatory to make them always unconscious before they are slaughtered.

“Now it’s time for the EU to follow suit and allow member states to adopt additional measures that ensure higher animal welfare standards.”



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