Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jews and Muslims Unite against Ban on Slaughter Rites

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jews and Muslims Unite against Ban on Slaughter Rites

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK WILKINSON

JEWS and Muslims have joined forces to oppose a call from Government advisers to ban the methods used to create kosher and halal meat.

The move follows a report from the Farm Animal Welfare Council, which suggested that the Muslim and Jewish methods of slaughter - which involve cutting animals' throats and letting them bleed to death - was intrinsically cruel and caused severe suffering for sheep, goats and cattle.

The council, which advises ministers on how to avoid cruelty to animals, called for an abolition of the right of the communities to slaughter animals without stunning them first. But the report has enraged religious groups, who say that the methods used, known as halal for Muslims and shechita for Jews, are not inhumane.

Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "This is an issue on which Jews and Muslims alike are united. The methods used by both communities are almost identical and we both believe that the methods we employ are the most humane according to the evidence which is available. The Jewish and Muslim religions have a great deal in common, and we both believe that to stun animals before slaughter is simply not acceptable."

Henry Grunwald, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "The Jewish community is united in its opposition to any proposal which could prevent us from living in accordance with Jewish law and practice. …

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