Farming News - Hundreds sign petition for ban on non-stunned halal meat in schools
Hundreds sign petition for ban on non-stunned halal meat in schools
Almost 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on Kirklees Council to stop serving schoolchildren halal meat from animals which were not stunned before slaughter.
The Council has admitted 40 schools in the area were serving the meat in school dinners.
Huge debate was provoked locally - and the petition gathered 986 signatures within 24 hours.
In addition Freedom of Information figures showed 17 councils supplied schools with unstunned halal meat, with Luton Council supplying it to 21 schools and Bolton and Leicester to 17 each.
Petition founder Aleksandar Lukic posted: "Every day children in Kirklees schools are served meat from animals that have been slaughtered while fully conscious, suffering unnecessary pain and distress.
"It is a legal requirement that animals must be humanely stunned before slaughter, but non-stun slaughter is still permitted for some religious communities. The RSPCA says 'For slaughter to be humane, it's essential that animals are effectively stunned.' The British Veterinary Association, representing 17,000 British vets, believes that 'all animals should be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain' and highlights that scientific evidence supports the use of pre-stunning to improve animal welfare. Both organisations are gravely concerned at recent increases in non-stun slaughter.
" The Council has been serving non-stunned halal meat in 42 schools without the knowledge or consent of the majority of pupils and parents. In some schools all of the meat served is non-stunned and there is no alternative option for pupils. The council has refused to say which schools are affected.
"There is no need for the council to supply non-stunned halal meat when the majority of halal meat is pre-stunned. Most Muslims are content with stunning."
Mr Lukic highlighted how other councils had ended the practice, saying for Kirklees Council to continue to do so was 'unethical'.
The petition read: "We the undersigned call on Kirklees Council to uphold animal welfare standards and only supply meat from animals that were stunned before slaughter."