ANIMAL group Viva! have called on international football governing body FIFA to bring an urgent halt to proposals to slaughter a cow at every 2010 World Cup venue, in a so-called 'blessing ritual'.
Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation has labelled plans by South African cultural organisation, The Makhonya Royal Trust, as a barbaric and abhorrent celebration of animal cruelty. The 'cultural ceremony' would involve slicing the throat of a cow with a knife or an assegai.
UK law states that animals must be stunned before they are killed in an abattoir, but this proposal would see cows being killed without any pre-stunning.
Viva! international founder & director, Juliet Gellatley, says: "It is beyond belief that in 2010 such acts of extreme animal cruelty and suffering are even being considered as part of such a major international sporting event. These animals would be fully-conscious while having their throats cut " a practice which has been scientifically proved to cause severe pain and distress.
'It is extraordinary that a game which has been bedevilled by violence should want to celebrate its crowning glory with the most extreme violence. Football plays no part in South Africa's traditional culture and this global multi-billion dollar industry needs no 'blessing'. It will continue to prosper without innocent animals having their throats cut open whilst fully conscious. FIFA must demand that the World Cup organisers in South Africa reject this barbarity as cruel and unacceptable.'
Viva! opposes all slaughter and promotes vegetarianism as the only truly effective way to prevent animal suffering.
For more information about our campaign against animal slaughter, visit [url]http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/ritual_slaughter/index.htm[/url]
For more information about this media release, please call Viva! Press Officer, Helen Rossiter on 07581 005605 or Viva! Editorial Director, Tony Wardle on 0117 944 1000.