British Muslim and Jewish Groups Object to Labeling of Ritually Slaughtered Meat

19 December 2010

About 10 million turkeys are expected to be eaten in the UK over Christmas with most people unaware of how the bird on their plate was killed. All that could change under proposed EU legislation that would require the labelling of unstunned halal and kosher meat, to the chagrin of Muslim and Jewish groups.

All meat and meat products “derived from animals that have not been stunned prior to slaughter ie have been ritually slaughtered,” would have to be specified as such under amendment 205 to the EU food information regulations.

The stated aim is to allow consumers to make an informed choice, consistent with their ethical concerns, but opponents argue it is discriminatory.

“If you are only labelling meat provided for Muslims and Jews you are discriminating against Muslims and Jews,” said Shimon Cohen, campaign director for Shechita UK. “There is no conclusive evidence to show our method of animal slaughter is anything but humane.”