Coun­cil­lors vote for ban on Ha­lal meat in schools

Accrington Observer - - NEWS -


COUN­CIL­LORS have voted to ban the sup­ply of un­stunned Ha­lal meat in schools.

In the free vote, a ma­jor­ity of county coun­cil­lors opted to sup­port ban­ning un-stunned Ha­lal meat in schools and Lan­cashire County Coun­cil (LCC) estab­lish­ments, with the ex­cep­tion of poul­try.

The con­tro­ver­sial mo­tion put for­ward by LCC’s Con­ser­va­tive leader Ge­off Driver had prompted a heated de­bate, both in and out of the cham­ber, on the ethics of killing an­i­mals that had not been stunned be­fore slaugh­ter.

But at a full meet­ing at county hall, Coun Driver said it was purely an ‘an­i­mal wel­fare is­sue’ and did not tar­get re­li­gious groups. He said: “I want to em­pha­sise that this is an an­i­mal wel­fare is­sue, noth­ing more noth­ing less. It is not anti-Semitic and it is not anti-Mus­lim as sadly some peo­ple are try­ing to make it out to be. The fact that this is be­fore us now is for no other rea­son than the fact that the con­tract is up for re­newal.”

Coun Driver ex­empted poul­try from the ban as stun­ning chick­ens may kill them be­fore slaugh­ter which con­tra­venes Mus­lim re­li­gious rules. He added: “In this day and age there is sim­ply no need for an­i­mals to suf­fer such stress, pain and dis­com­fort.

“It is a fact that 84 per cent of Ha­lal meat in this coun­try comes from an­i­mals that were stunned be­fore they were slaugh­tered. It would ap­pear that the Lan­cashire Coun­cil of Mosques is out of step with the huge ma­jor­ity of Mus­lims and Mus­lim schol­ars in this coun­try.”

Labour Coun Mo­hammed Iqbal had spo­ken in favour of an amend­ment to de­lay the de­ci­sion un­til a full con­sul­ta­tion with af­fected schools had been car­ried out, but it was de­feated. He said: “Is it the case that we do not trust chil­dren to make a free­dom of choice at that school county?”

Some fear the de­ci­sion could spark a re­peat of the wide­spread boy­cott of school din­ners af­ter a sim­i­lar pro­posal was raised in 2013 and the Lan­cashire Coun­cil of Mosques in­sisted that only meat from non­stunned an­i­mals met its strict in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lamic di­etary rules.

The Ha­lal Food Au­thor­ity states that Ha­lal meat is that which ad­heres to an Is­lamic rit­ual called Zabi­hah, which re­quires an­i­mals to be alive and healthy at the time of slaugh­ter, but there are dif­fer­ences of opin­ion within Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties as to ex­act def­i­ni­tion of what con­sti­tutes Ha­lal.

Coun Peter Brit­cliffe told the meet­ing: “They will have the choice of Ha­lal meat it will just be that it won’t be un­stunned Ha­lal meat. I re­ally don’t see the prob­lem.”

Town­field Care’s an­nual awards cer­e­mony was held at Great Har­wood Golf Club

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.