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Ritual Slaughter

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about her policy on shechita and halal meat. [125938]

The slaughter of animals without prior stunning to provide meat for Jews and Muslims is currently permitted in this country. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (the Government's independent advisory body on issues related to farm animal welfare) has recently issued a report on the welfare of red meat animals at slaughter. The report includes a recommendation that slaughter without prior stunning should be banned in this country. The report also contains a further 93 recommendations and we will be responding to the report after we have considered the recommendations and consulted interested parties. Whatever decision is reached on the recommendation to ban slaughter without prior stunning the import of shechita and halal meat will continue to be permitted.