In God’s Name - Religious Slaughter in the UK
In Britain today, millions of farmed animals face having their throats cut while fully conscious – and it’s perfectly legal. The law states that animals must be stunned before they are killed in the abattoir but animals which are killed by Jewish and Muslim religious slaughter are exempt from that rule. Scientific evidence shows that these animals face severe pain and distress. The Government’s own advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, called for the banning of religious slaughter. Viva! has opposed religious slaughter for many years.
Slaughter Without Prestunning
Although stunning before slaughter is often ineffective, slaughter without it is an excruciating and terrifying experience faced by millions of animals every year. At present the law exempts animals killed to provide Jewish shechita and Muslim halal meat from the requirement to be stunned: Viva! believes that law must be repealed as a matter of urgency.
In 2013, Poland banned slaughter without stunning - a victory driven by Viva! Poland. This was followed by a similar move in Denmark. These developments have re-ignited the debate in the UK. Recently, John Blackwell, who took over as president elect of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) in 2013, has stated that killing animals by letting them bleed to death after slitting their throats causes unnecessary suffering. He said: "The Danish unilateral banning [was done] purely for animal welfare reasons, which is right."
John Blackwell's views echo those of Viva! and most other animal campaigning groups in the UK.
However, Viva! reiterates its opposition to all slaughter and we promote veganism as the only truly effective way to prevent animal suffering. Viva!’s investigations show that millions of animals slaughtered by conventional means are ineffectively, painfully or incompletely stunned – this means that if you eat meat you will sometimes - and perhaps often - eat meat from what are effectively unstunned animals. It is also worth considering that the overwhelming majority of the 980 million killed each year in Britain lead lives of deprivation and suffering. Find out more about slaughter. Find out how easy it is to go vegan - or at least move in that direction.
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