Author Topic: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers  (Read 3270 times)

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Offline Fido

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Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« on: December 29, 2010, 05:00:22 pm »
Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
16 December 2010, 1:00 am

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 30 November (WA 433-34) concerning kosher and halal slaughtered meat, whether, in their discussions with the food industry, they will raise the right of the majority of people to be informed about whether meat has been slaughtered in accordance with religious beliefs.

Source: Lord Stoddart of Swindon's recent appearances (TheyWorkForYou)


Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 03:23:26 am »

Interesting question and a valid point I think.

I'm guessing that finding a kosher pork sausage would be difficult.

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 10:20:58 am »
The entire scenario is very interesting.

Jews and Muslims appear to believe that labelling products as having been prepared according to their religious whims is offensive.

Quote
The move to require halal and kosher meat producers to provide consumers with more information on the packaging of their products has enraged Jewish and Muslim organisations, with the latter claiming that the move has little to do with animal welfare but, rather, reflects a pan-European bias against Islam.

"This is an emotive subject but, looked at in the cold light of day, it was clearly a discriminatory proposal," said Abdalhamid Evans, the director of the World Halal Forum Europe Project.

Yunus Dudhwala, the chairman of the Halal Monitoring Committee in Britain, said he believed that animal welfare was a "red herring" because there was little interest shown in factory farming methods and the conditions of animal transportation prior to slaughter.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/europe/new-eu-labels-for-halal-and-kosher-foods-spark-anger

I love how they bandy the word 'discriminatory' around with such gay abandon. I wonder what yours or my chances of securing employment at the World Halal Forum Europe Project or the Halal Monitoring Committee would be.

Label the damn food, let people decide what they want to eat. What interests me most is that, presumably, both Jews and Muslims have to enquire about the source/nature of their food products before buying it... so why not just label it?

It would be considered rather inappropriate to expect Jews and Muslims to eat meat that was not confirmed to be Kosher or Halal, so why are they so up in arms about everyone else knowing how their food was prepared?

This should be considered very much a case of 'tough shit' and I hope the new regulations are adopted.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Tobes

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 03:11:21 pm »
Quote
It would be considered rather inappropriate to expect Jews and Muslims to eat meat that was not confirmed to be Kosher or Halal, so why are they so up in arms about everyone else knowing how their food was prepared?

This should be considered very much a case of 'tough shit' and I hope the new regulations are adopted.

I couldn't agree more.

Its an odd situation and deomsntrates much of the hypocrasy at large in this country. I've always found it bizarre that a chunk of my generation found the time and means to go hunt sabbing in the interests of preventing 'animal cruelty' - and yet would never have countenanced lobbying outside a halal or kosher butchers... It seems some ethnic minorities are politically correct targets, whilst others are sacrosanct.

But lets be cautious:

Quote
has enraged Jewish and Muslim organisations

Errr, no - that sounds like a Daily Hyperbole Mail angle - it makes it sound like all, or at least a majority of people speaking for those parts of society are 'enraged'. Are they? Or is it just a few gobby trouble-makers?

Its also interesting to read the quote -

Quote
whether, in their discussions with the food industry, they will raise the right of the majority of people to be informed about whether meat has been slaughtered in accordance with religious beliefs.

... given that the vast majority of people in this country don't select their food according to religious beliefs, why the hell should most of us pay for the labelling of food for those that do? Surely we should be able to safely assume that all food labelled normally is done so because it conforms to the law of the land. If religious groups wish to source specially prepared food (exploiting some rather ubbery loopholes in the law on cruelty to do it) then its their affair. Whats wrong with leaving things as they are? Is this another piece of unessessary, devisive and potentially costly EU meddling?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - Voltaire 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 03:21:08 pm »
Errr, no - that sounds like a Daily Hyperbole Mail angle - it makes it sound like all, or at least a majority of people speaking for those parts of society are 'enraged'. Are they? Or is it just a few gobby trouble-makers?

Not sure what your obsession with the Daily Mail is, but the article I linked to was from Tha National:

Quote
The National, the Abu Dhabi Media company's first English-language publication, has set a new standard of quality English-language journalism in the Middle East.

I very much doubt they'd be trying to whip up anti-Islamic sentiment.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Tobes

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 03:50:15 pm »
Quote
Not sure what your obsession with the Daily Mail is

ROFL! Its not my bible  :santa_azn:

I was merely pointing out that the way in which a story gets presented can be misleading, and I think most people agree (well, the informed ones at least) that the Bigot Mail is probably one of the best current examples of not letting balance get in the way of a good headline...

Quote
I very much doubt they'd be trying to whip up anti-Islamic sentiment.

I didn't say they were - merely that the way the story was presented gave the impression that large number of Jewish and Muslim people were enraged... It might not be the case at all. You seem very well informed. Are they?

Sorry, despite agreeing with you, it must be the result of some namby pamby left wing brainwashing that I had to sound a note of cogent caution...!! Damn!!

(Do you like talking to people and having a discussion - or do you prefer to listen to the echo of your own shouting?)

(PS - seeing as you decided to get all pedandic with Muggins and her mispelling of 'Trek', I thought that you might enjoy the following observation -
Quote
from Tha National
: you say? Was it from the Yorkshire edition?)

 :2funny:
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - Voltaire 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 05:09:01 pm »
(PS - seeing as you decided to get all pedandic with Muggins and her mispelling of 'Trek', I thought that you might enjoy the following observation -
Quote
from Tha National
: you say? Was it from the Yorkshire edition?)

 :2funny:

It was actually Chav, not Muggins.

Another Tobes' fail.

:2funny:
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline moley

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 05:24:00 pm »
I choose not to eat meat (in part because I'm concerned about animal welfare issues).

However the next level in: if I did eat meat, I'd prefer it to be labelled as halal/kosher because I would choose not to buy it.... (again for animal welfare reasons). 

Moley

Offline Chav

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010, 05:35:13 pm »
(PS - seeing as you decided to get all pedandic with Muggins and her mispelling of 'Trek', I thought that you might enjoy the following observation -
Quote
from Tha National
: you say? Was it from the Yorkshire edition?)

 :2funny:

It was actually Chav, not Muggins.

Another Tobes' fail.

:2funny:

Yes I stand corrected - I spelled 'Trek' wrong   :santa_smiley:
Human error I'm afraid .
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Simon

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Re: Food: Kosher and Halal Meat | House of Lords | Written Answers
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 08:06:34 pm »
I choose not to eat meat (in part because I'm concerned about animal welfare issues).

Same here, my original motivation for going veggie was the welfare of the animal that ends up on someone's plate.

Every so often this religious discrimination / animal welfare thing blows up, so I thought I'd look a few things up. First, Compassion in World Farming's view on halal and religious slaughter.

Quote from: CIWF
Compassion in World Farming believes that all slaughter should be humane, which means that animals must be stunned prior to slaughter using a method that causes immediate unconsciousness or, in the case of gas stunning, does not cause distress during the period before loss of consciousness.

We understand that in the UK, over 90% of animals slaughtered for Halal meat are stunned before slaughter; however, animals slaughtered for Kosher meat are in general not stunned before slaughter.

Sounds like a reasonable position to me.

So what are the actual requirements of the slaughter process to make the result halal or kosher?

I found this on RSPCA Australia's site.

Quote from: RSPCA Australia
A standard for meat production in Australia is that all animals must be effectively stunned prior to slaughter. A form of halal slaughter complies with the standard and is commonly used in export abattoirs. The only difference between this halal-slaughter method is that it uses a reversible (electrical) stunning method, while conventional humane slaughter uses an irreversible (physical) stunning method.

So it seems possible for an animal to be stunned before slaughter, and the resulting product to still be halal.

Looking for information about kosher slaugher, RSPCA Australia turned up again.

Quote from: RSPCA Australia
Kosher meat must be slaughtered in a particular way, so the rabbi in a kosher meat plant is a specially trained religious slaughterer. The animal must be killed so it feels little pain. A sharp knife is used to cut the oesophagus, the trachea, carotid arteries and jugular veins in one action. Excessive pressure on the blade is forbidden. The animal is raised so blood flows out and this is then covered with dirt. Failure to do any of these acts correctly means the animal is unfit to eat.

A standard for meat production in Australia is that all animals must be effectively stunned prior to slaughter. However, there are instances where the relevant state or territory meat-inspection authority can approve an abattoir for ritual slaughter for the domestic market. Requirements for this type of slaughter – including kosher slaughter – are set out in a nationally adopted guideline Ritual Slaughter for Ovine (Sheep) and Bovine (Cattle). In kosher slaughter, pre-slaughter stunning is not permitted.

So we've got a bit of a problem making animal welfare compatible with the kosher rules.

But, from a food labelling point of view, I think we've established that "this food is compliant with your religious beliefs" is not necessarily the same as, nor is it mutually exclusive of, "this animal was slaughtered whilst fully conscious".


OK, taking a few steps back and viewing the bigger picture...

I think people are right to be concerned about the way in which animals are slaughtered for food, especially if it involves unnecessary suffering. But I think that pales into insignificance compared to the conditions that some of these animals are held in for their entire lives right up to that point.

How about proper, comprehensive food labelling?

"This chicken was bred to grow at many times its natural rate, had the tip of its beak cut off with a hot knife, spent its entire life in a giant overcrowded shed with no access to sunlight and a floor covered in poo, and was stunned before slaughter. £1.50 or 3 for £4"

We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

 

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