David RutleyMain Page: David Rutley (Conservative) - Macclesfield)
Department Debates - View all David Rutley's debates with the HM Treasury
I agree with my hon. Friend that it could make a difference. I have cut short my speech considerably to allow other hon. Members to join in, which I certainly do not object to doing, but I could have provided more evidence for my points if I had had time—never mind.
There is a divergence of opinion on the issue, so I ask the Minister to consider holding a number of roundtable meetings with stakeholders, such as religious groups, farmers, vets and anybody else who has something useful to contribute, including perhaps hon. Members. I ask him to engage in the discussions about the process —I am sure he is already taking it seriously—to see whether we can find a way forward. No matter what people’s backgrounds, religions, or anything else, they do not want to see the unnecessary suffering of animals. I am sure he will engage with the subject, and I hope he will get people round a table to talk about it in great detail and see what progress we can make.
I thank the Minister for giving way and I also thank the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson), who secured the debate, especially for his explicit and helpful statement at the outset that he did not intend in any way to impact on religious freedom or expression. Will the Minister confirm that, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the rights of the Jewish and Muslim faiths to have meat prepared in accordance with their beliefs will always be protected?
I thank my hon. Friend for giving way and I will be very brief. I just want to commend the Government for what they have done regarding animal rights over the last few years. The Minister himself came to the Dogs Trust event that I organised last year. I am proud to be a Conservative because of the way the Government champion animal rights, and I thank them for that.
One last one.
I thank the Minister for mentioning mis-stunning. Will he ensure that if there is going to be labelling, we are told on the label exactly the methodology adopted in the stunning?
My brother is a meat inspector; I will just make that clear. There is CCTV in all slaughterhouses now. Is that eliminating cruelty? Are the Government monitoring the footage?