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Monday, 22 June 2009

It’s still OK to be barbaric to animals

“Religious slaughter techniques practised by Jews and Muslims are cruel and should be ended, says a scientific assessment from the Government’s animal welfare advisers.” So writes Martin Hickman in today’s Independent.

But will our government do anything? It looks unlikely. Cuddly, cruelty-free, can’t-put-a-foot-wrong religion will trump being kinder to our fellow creatures any day.

Back in May, you may remember, Euro MPs voted that it was OK to be cruel to animals.

We reported then that the website was gloating that “Attempts to ban the production of kosher meat in the UK were dealt a major blow this week after the European Parliament voted in favour of declaring shechita a legitimate form of animal slaughter.”

The Indie tells us:

The Farm Animal Welfare Council [FAWC] says that slitting the throats of the animals most commonly used for meat, chickens, without stunning, results in “significant pain and distress”. The committee, which includes scientific, agricultural and veterinary experts, is calling for the Government to launch a debate with Muslim and Jewish communities to end the practice.

It was FAWC that brought out a report in 2003 (the Independent story makes reference to it). It declared that this type of ritual slaughter was unacceptable. To please the superstition lobby, our politically correct bunch of toadying NuLabour appeasers decided to ignore FAWC’s recommendations in favour of more suffering for the animal.

Even if our government – or the next one when the Tories get into power – decides to “launch a debate”, it will do no good: the Independent says the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said the cruelty will not be ended, and it will put religion first.

Rituals, tradition and desiccated old scriptures are more important to the practitioners than suffering by sentient creatures, and our politicians don’t give a monkey’s arsehole.

One bit of good news that the Indie reports is:

One Muslim organisation, the Halal Food Authority, already insists on the slaughterhouses it regulates stunning animals first on welfare grounds, as long as they are still alive when their throats are slit.

But there’s always a “but”:

But in other halal and almost all kosher slaughterhouses, animals have their throats slit without prior stunning which would render them insensible to the pain. Religious groups say that doing so would be against their interpretation of religious texts.

These barbarians can claim legitimacy for their brutality from exemptions they’ve been granted to the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, which says creatures such as cows, goats and chickens be stunned first.

It’s thought that about 114 million animals are killed under halal and 2.1 million under kosher methods each year in Britain. That’s a lot of suffering – for the sake of superstition.

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