Petition

In March a petition with over 100,000 signatures was handed in to the UK government, by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). The petition, raised by the BVA, was an attempt to stop slaughter without stunning, which is the current method used in halal (Muslim) and shechita (Jewish) meat industry.

The BVA and animal welfare organisations are against these forms of slaughter as the animal is conscious while killed and often takes several minutes to die. Stunning before slaughter minimises pain and suffering.

The UK government said it had “no intention” of outlawing religious slaughter, regardless of public feeling, or advice from the country’s top vets – people who obviously know what they are talking about. In fact the UK government have said that it is more a case of religious prejudice then animal welfare. Well I’m not Muslim or Jewish and I certainly find it offensive to be given halal or kosher foods. It has nothing to do with my beliefs and should not be forced on to me. When I’m handed this type of food I find it very prejudicial.

There are animal welfare laws in the UK. Laws that state that an animal must be stunned before slaughter. Religious groups are exempted from this law.

Is it right to condone the breaking of a law because of someone’s religious belief?

Lee Rigby was murdered in broad daylight by Michael Adebolajo, and Michael Adebowale who said they were doing it for religious reasons. Were they exempted from murder? Thankfully not.

So why is the UK government allowing the painful death of living creatures just because of some medieval religious reason?

According to the website Chabad.org (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/222240/jewish/What-is-Shechita.htm), What is Shechita?
“Shechita is performed by a highly trained shochet. The procedure consists of a rapid and expert transverse incision with an instrument of surgical sharpness (a chalaf), which severs the major structures and vessels at the neck. This causes an instant drop in blood pressure in the brain and immediately results in the irreversible cessation of consciousness. Thus, shechita renders the animal insensible to pain, dispatches and exsanguinates in a swift action, and fulfils all the requirements of humaneness and compassion.”

In the case of mammals, the thoracic cavity has to be examined to make sure there are no lesions on the organs in the chest. This is often done before the animal is dead.

Halal slaughter is very similar: the cutting of the throat without the animal being stunned, and then allowing it to die while a prayer to Allah is said over it. It is supposed to be done with a sharp knife and well away from any other animal – alive or dead – so that the animal being slaughtered does not get stressed.

At least that’s what these religious groups are saying.

An undercover investigation in Yorkshire filmed animals being kicked and stamped on, as well as being hacked to death in a halal abattoir.

An abattoir in Beirut was closed down after world outrage of animals being kicked, beaten, stamped on, as well as bulls being dragged by fingers in their eye sockets.

After public outrage, Australia has stopped exporting cattle to Indonesia because of cruelties inflicted on the animals.

An Asian abattoir in Florida is currently being investigated because of animals being skinned alive or having their heads turned 360 degrees to kill them.

All very religious I’m sure.

I often hear religious people say that their God created the Earth and everything on it. Surely if God is the prime artist and you ‘respect’ the artist then you would see the artists work as being priceless? Or am I being naïve? Why do some religions think that they can commit any kind of brutality and it’s ok?

I believe that everything on Earth has a soul and is created by God, or by this miraculous planet that we live on. We are all connected to this planet and cannot live without the other creatures on it.

I also believe in natural justice – you only need look at the state of the Middle East to see it at work.

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