Yes, it’s Muslims again. The institution concerned is Polmont, whose managers have been told not to source all their meat from halal butchers, but have continued to do so, according to the Daily Express, “to avoid ‘prejudicing the position’ of the handful of religious inmates”.
The point is that animal suffering should not be condoned, no matter how many Muslim prisoners there are. If they don’t like non-halal meat, let them take the veggie alternatives. It’s bad enough that our supine, kowtowing government has allowed ritual slaughter at all, in spite of a damning report from the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in June 2003, which said ritual slaughter should be banned forthwith.
“FAWC said it wanted an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first,” says the BBC report linked to above, which continues:
It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death – amounting to an abuse of the animals.
“This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn’t suffer is quite ridiculous,” said FAWC chairwoman, Dr Judy MacArthur Clark.
Compassion in World Farming backed the call, saying: “We believe that the law must be changed to require all animals to be stunned before slaughter.”
But oh, no: that would hurt the itty-bitty sensitivities of cuddly-wuddly Jews and Muslims, wouldn’t it, and we wouldn’t want to hurt their special ickle sensitivities, would we? It’s religion, after all, cuddly, lovable religion, and that trumps everything – even ending barbaric cruelty to animals.
Anyway, these inmates wouldn’t know if the meat were not halal, would they? They could just take their choice and hope that it is. If they suspect that it’s not, tough. There are alternatives.
And this is nothing to do with prisoners’ rights. We acknowledge those. It’s to do with a society’s right to ensure that the animals it uses for food are treated as humanely as possible, and to demand that its government act with compassion, instead of bowing to religious pressure. The meat industry is bad enough in its conventional dealings with the domestic animal kingdom. Adding the stress of allowing an animal to watch itself bleed to death is something else.