Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England and Northern Ireland) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

Debate between Baroness Flather and Lord De Mauley
Wednesday 30th October 2019

(4 years, 7 months ago)

Grand Committee
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Baroness Flather Portrait Baroness Flather (CB)
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My Lords, I will bring up something different. There is a lot of ritual slaughter in this country, and I have no idea whether those who perform it are in any way regulated. Those who know anything about slaughter for halal meat will know that it is not the way animals should be treated—a prayer has to be said while the neck is being separated from the body. It is just going on, and we do nothing about it.

The other thing is that some halal meat—the majority, some say—is, I cannot remember the word—

Lord De Mauley Portrait Lord De Mauley
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Pre-stunned.

Baroness Flather Portrait Baroness Flather
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I thank the noble Lord. I said to the last Secretary of State that meat that is available as halal or pre-stunned should be labelled. He said that that might reflect badly on Muslims. But they too want it to be labelled because the very conservative Muslims will not eat pre-stunned halal. They will eat only halal meat where the neck was cut off while prayers were being said. It is time we looked at that, as it certainly goes against animal welfare.

Really, everything should be labelled. We have always labelled everything in this country; why do we not label halal? Everyone says that all the takeaways now serve halal because they want Muslims to buy it. That is fine, but we should know. Everybody should know what they are eating. People like me who will not buy halal because of the ritual slaughter should also know whether we are eating halal. I would very much like the Minister to look at this issue, which has just been brushed under the carpet: “Oh, we do not want to upset the Muslims”. Why not? They are living in this country; they should conform to our standards.