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← Euro Ministers drop proposals to introduce mandatory labelling of ritually slaughtered meat

Euro Ministers drop proposals to introduce mandatory labelling of ritually slaughtered meat - Comments

cpr100's Avatar Comment 1 by cpr100

So if the meat is labelled it becomes commercially unviable. That means people won't be buying it which suggests those groups that do want the ritually slaughtered meat are not willing to pay for it (at whatever the increased cost is). If it isn't important enough to be worth paying for what is the issue with having it labelled?

It seems this isn't so much an issue with commercial viability rather a means of having a minority product subsidised by the rest of us.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 18:45:51 UTC | #561767

billzfantazy's Avatar Comment 2 by billzfantazy

Steve you are totally to be commended for bringing this up.

I do eat meat, but I love life and the idea that an animal would suffer, just so I could eat its flesh is really unbearable.

Fuck labelling laws this just shouldn't be allowed!!!

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 19:44:54 UTC | #561789

inquisador's Avatar Comment 3 by inquisador

There has been a gradual drift towards the more extensive use of halal methods of slaughter. This needs to be firmly opposed or it will surely become increasingly seen as normal practice. Some of the worst consequences are of the terrible ordeals suffered by animals undergoing long journeys in cramped conditions just so that they can be delivered live to the market for ritual slaughter. As was noted in a previous thread. This international issue is a vital one that needs to be highlighted by any believer in the avoidance of unnecessary cruelty to animals. I wrote to Tesco about this. Their reply was not reassuring - the only positive note was that all their organically reared animals are effectively stunned before slaughter. They claim to mark the packaging clearly for customers to always know whether meat is halal or not but I have looked for that and have yet to see it. I now prefer to use a small traditional butcher shop that can give me clear reassurances on this.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 20:42:36 UTC | #561807

danconquer's Avatar Comment 4 by danconquer

I started a discussion recently where I described ritual slaughter as being, to my mind, the most flagrant and disgusting example of religious privilege in the UK (where it is otherwise illegal to kill an animal that has not first been stunned).

I read this report earlier; I was astounded that the lobby group complained that, if labelling were introduced, then Kosher meat would become 'commercially unviable'.

This translates into: We demand the right to mislead consumers, because if consumers are able to make informed decisions, our barbaric rituals wont make a profit.

Utterly shameful.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 23:17:00 UTC | #561852

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

Even the tobacco lobbies don't have the audacity to try that line of argument, nor would we give in to them if they did it.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 23:35:23 UTC | #561863

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 6 by God fearing Atheist

What animals do the Jews tourture to death?

I'll just turn veggie wrt those. Thank the FSM it won't include bacon sandwiches!

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 23:45:33 UTC | #561865

RDfan's Avatar Comment 7 by RDfan

Hmm, this is a slightly complicated one, in a sense. I guess this is an issue in developed countries with mechanized means of killing. In Uganda, say, or most of the rest of the developing world, animals are slaughtered not for religious reasons but because there are no viable alternative means - such as stunning - available.

Anyway, back to the West. I agree that these foods should be labeled especially in countries where labeling mechanisms exist.

But instead of requiring Halal/Kosher butchers to label their products as "Meat from slaughter without stunning" they could be more pro-active and require the other butchers to label their products as "stunned meat". In this way, all the consumer has to do is look out for the "stunned meat" logo to realize which is which and choose accordingly; the food without the "stunned meat" logo would, by implication, be Halal/Kosher.

The added benefit of this approach is that "stunned meat" is more concise than "Meat from slaughter without stunning" and thus saving on costs; yeah!

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 23:50:54 UTC | #561873

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 8 by xmaseveeve

This is terrible. What can we do? Obviously, they bow to pressure, and we must speak up.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 00:00:53 UTC | #561877

Matt B's Avatar Comment 9 by Matt B

@ Comment 7

But instead of requiring Halal/Kosher butchers to label their products as "Meat from slaughter without stunning" they could be more pro-active and require the other butchers to label their products as "stunned meat". In this way, all the consumer has to do is look out for the "stunned meat" logo to realize which is which and choose accordingly; the food without the "stunned meat" logo would, by implication, be Halal/Kosher.

I like the way you think!

This is a great idea. As an engineer at a manufacturing plant, I am well aware how strict the process is for certification in the electronics industry. This shows that the necessary framework for the idea is already well established, and if applied to the labeling of food, could easily be regulated for accuracy.

Instead of forcing companies to advertise inhumane slaughter, other companies will (in theory) seek the certification themselves. This is a much more positive approach, and is much harder to stamp out.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 00:13:25 UTC | #561881

RDfan's Avatar Comment 10 by RDfan

Exactly, Matt B.

If I was a "stunned meat" producer, I would rush out my own "stunned meat" label - in collaboration with similar butchers - so that we can distinguish ourselves from the Kosher/Halal people and in that way, maybe, have a competitive advantage over them while giving the consumer choice. To remain competitive, the Halal/Kosher lot would have to think of new ways to market their foods through price reductions or some other means; either way the consumer wins!

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 00:52:44 UTC | #561893

Jay G's Avatar Comment 11 by Jay G

I don't see the need for this. If meat is labeled "kosher" then we automatically know is was not stunned before killing.

If, however, is there is a perceived need for this, then I don't understand the opposition. Kosher meat is for people who want to eat kosher meat. Why should this label "non-stunned" make a difference? Kosher meat is a religious requirement. Religious people should not be making a business of it.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 01:00:25 UTC | #561895

danconquer's Avatar Comment 12 by danconquer

Comment 11 by Jay G :

Kosher meat is for people who want to eat kosher meat.

Kosher/Halal should be for the people who want it, but that is not what is happening. As has been well documented, ritually-slaughtered meat is being served up to an unsuspecting public by a range of companies who are allowing the irrational superstitions of a minority to come before i) The welfare of animals and ii) The right of consumers to make informed ethical decisions. Why? Because it's more profitable than having to obtain several sources.

Clear labelling is one way of dealing with the problem.

Although, given that it is supposedly illegal to kill an animal without first stunning it, the whole practice should be outlawed altogether in the UK.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 01:22:46 UTC | #561903

Jay G's Avatar Comment 13 by Jay G

Comment 12 by danconquer :

Comment 11 by Jay G :

Kosher meat is for people who want to eat kosher meat.

Kosher/Halal should be for the people who want it, but that is not what is happening. As has been well documented, ritually-slaughtered meat is being served up to an unsuspecting public by a range of companies who are allowing the irrational superstitions of a minority to come before i) The welfare of animals and ii) The right of consumers to make informed ethical decisions. Why? Because it's more profitable than having to obtain several sources.

Clear labelling is one way of dealing with the problem. Although, given that it is supposedly illegal to kill an animal without first stunning it, the whole practice should be outlawed altogether in the UK.

We agree on one point. People should be able to buy what they want without being mislead. I suppose we also agree on the point that people should not use their religious beliefs as a way to make money from the public.

I disagree with you about the animal rights aspect of this, but that is beside the point. Given the fact that Jews are, as of now, able to slaughter animals in keeping with the laws of ritual slaughter, people who object to this should not be tricked into purchasing the slaughtered meat.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 01:28:07 UTC | #561905

RDfan's Avatar Comment 14 by RDfan

Well said, danconquer.

I can identify these categories so far:

Kosher (i.e. slaughtered), Halal (i.e. slaughtered), Halal (i.e. pre-stunned**, then slaughtered), Stunned (i.e. not slaughtered).

All the producers have to do is choose the relevant label and then allow us, the buyer, to decide; done.

**Does this mean the animal is stunned a little bit, a lot, or a very lot? Or is it that the animal is slaughtered before the blood clots?

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 01:33:39 UTC | #561906

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 15 by huzonfurst

I'm about to turn vegetarian after finding out what halal and kosher really mean. We really are apes with undeveloped morals...

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 02:03:22 UTC | #561915

mmurray's Avatar Comment 16 by mmurray

If there is no labelling how do the people who have to eat this meat for religious reasons now they are getting correct kind of meat ?

Michael

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 07:20:11 UTC | #561960

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 17 by huzonfurst

Mmurry, because their religious brothers would never, ever lie to them, of course.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 07:47:37 UTC | #561964

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 18 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 8 by xmaseveeve

This is terrible. What can we do?

Well....Xmas is coming up, and I hear Euro Ministers are rather tasty if cooked properly.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 08:10:57 UTC | #561965

TrickyDicky's Avatar Comment 19 by TrickyDicky

Comment 11 by Jay G :

I don't see the need for this. If meat is labeled "kosher" then we automatically know is was not stunned before killing.

If, however, is there is a perceived need for this, then I don't understand the opposition. Kosher meat is for people who want to eat kosher meat. Why should this label "non-stunned" make a difference? Kosher meat is a religious requirement. Religious people should not be making a business of it.

And what about the parts of the kosher killed animal that the jews won't eat, that is what is be disposed of in the general food market.

Obviously if there was no market for that meat the price of the "kosher" meat would increase.

It's the same with New Zealand lamb which is mostly halal, the producers have said that labelling it as such would be costly, they are of course talking about the loss of sales not the price of a label.

Also I see that the New Zealand ban on kosher killing is likely to be reversed.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 08:52:48 UTC | #561967

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 20 by Stevehill

Comment 11 by Jay G I don't see the need for this. If meat is labeled "kosher" then we automatically know is was not stunned before killing.

Jay, if it were labelled kosher or halal I'd have no problems. I - and the European Parliament - wanted just that.

The problem is that it is not labelled at all.

All meat products in many UK restaurant chains are now halal: Pizza Hut, KFC, Domino's, Nandos, Subway to name but a few. They do this so as not to have to turn away the occasional Muslim customer who bothers to ask the question. And by so doing they deny the choice to the millions of us who do not ask the question (and in most cases don't even know there's a question to be asked).

I genuinely believe most people want to be able to make a free choice, and if there was a bloody big sign on the door of every Pizza Hut saying "only halal meat served here" they'd be bankrupt in a week. We need to raise awareness and get people voting with their feet.

Additionally, the UK Parliament's excuse for doing nothing over the last five years - in the wake of its own Food & Animal Welfare Council report saying ritual slaughter was, scientifically, unnecessarily cruel - was that the EU was on the case. Now the EU is clearly off the case, perhaps the debate about having some domestic labelling legislation can be reopened. Write to your MP.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 09:32:53 UTC | #561968

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 21 by Stevehill

P.S. - I have sent a message to Johann Hari at the Independent encouraging him to return to the fray soon in the light of this news, and asking if he knows and MP or two willing to champion the cause in Parliament.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 09:50:25 UTC | #561970

danconquer's Avatar Comment 22 by danconquer

Comment 20 by Stevehill :

I genuinely believe most people want to be able to make a free choice

Yes, this is the crux of the matter isn't it.

If it is unacceptable (and, I believe, illegal) to sell a box of battery eggs without stating the method of production on the package, it is nonsense to not require the labelling of the slaughtering method for meat.

I do wonder whether, in the UK, it would be possible to mount a decent judicial review on the basis that failing to appropriately label meat products amounts to serious misleading, contrary to various consumer protection legislation.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 10:08:44 UTC | #561972

lilalindy's Avatar Comment 23 by lilalindy

Try this one. it is from a discussion about bacon but this comment offers some interesting points.

Personally, in the context of this discussion, I think the 'Stunned Meat' sticker/logo (whatever that could turn out to be) is the best because it is a positive statement.

Extending that, 'British Stunned Meat' with a union jack would really hit the sweet spot.

And I suggest that as a vegan (27 years) who is utterly appalled at Halal and Kosher manipulation of minimum UK slaughter standards.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 10:31:04 UTC | #561976

Anvil's Avatar Comment 24 by Anvil

Jim Paice MP signalled the UK Government's intention to oppose the labelling amendment saying that he had recently met with Shechita UK to help him "understand the concerns driving their opposition to labelling".

Says it all, really, doesn't it. I suppose the least we could do is word up a No10 petition (if this is still possible under the coalition? - it is, I just checked) and if Hari does respond to to this in Cif, push the link to the petition.

We would need a short para'/precis beginnining along the lines of:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to..."

Followed by a longer piece about the size of the OP.

Here are the steps we need to do to create a petition.

Here are the terms & conditions.

Here is an example of a petition (my eye was drawn to the bigotry).

Following this we could write to our MPs bringing their attention to the petition, stating our opposition to ritually slaughtered meat, and printing their response on this or another appropriate thread.

Any thoughts? (On wording, that is - not just any thoughts.)

Anvil.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 11:04:59 UTC | #561989

Jay G's Avatar Comment 25 by Jay G

I forgot that some of the animals slaughtered in the Kosher way are rejected for various reasons. The rejected animals are sold to non-kosher meat suppliers. Now I see the point of labeling. So I would say that I agree with the proposal to label and too bad if there's a loss of business.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 11:55:25 UTC | #562010

TrickyDicky's Avatar Comment 26 by TrickyDicky

Comment 25 by Jay G :

I forgot that some of the animals slaughtered in the Kosher way are rejected for various reasons. The rejected animals are sold to non-kosher meat suppliers. Now I see the point of labeling. So I would say that I agree with the proposal to label and too bad if there's a loss of business.

Not just reject animals but certain parts are not kosher!

Quote from "Keeping Kosher: Jewish Dietary Laws"

Certain parts of kosher animals are non-kosher. One such part is the sciatic nerve in the hindquarters, which is extremely difficult to remove. Thus some of the choicest cuts of meat - like filet mignon and sirloin steak - are forbidden.

Maybe this is why you often see cheap sirloin steak in Tesco.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 14:04:47 UTC | #562040

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 28 by Stevehill

Comment 27 by TrickyDicky It is worth reading this article so you can see what we are up against!

You learn something every day. I didn't realise that, strictly, a cheeseburger is not kosher. Or frying some onions in butter as part of a casserole.

I have no wish to mock anyone's sincere beliefs, but seriously is there no way some competent rabbis can drag this kicking and screaming into approximately the current millennium?

Nice to see Reform Jews pretty much ignore the whole damned thing though (certainly true of some good Jewish friends of mine who love my bacon sandwiches).

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 15:13:18 UTC | #562060

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 29 by phil rimmer

An excellent way forward would be consumer led campaigns to boycott KFC, Nando's etc. in favour of any outlets that wish to clearly identify hallal from non hallal. Nando's may choose to offer a specific Hallal product to avoid turnaway, priced to accommodate its minority interest.

High street butchers have an opportunity to regain some business here from similarly boycotted Tesco's etc.. Tesco's can regain customer confidence with voluntary labelling of non-kosher (non-hallal?) ritually slaughtered products. Inevitably interest in these less savoury products will decline and hence their value. Provided this loss of income is less than the income loss due to the boycott this decision is justified.

The suppliers of this ghastly stuff must take the ultimate financial hit. Consumer choice must be allowed to drive animal welfare concerns. Rigging the market over such issues is despicable.

My plan to try to eat local, looks increasingly good.

And thanks for the heads up, Steve.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 15:26:54 UTC | #562065

josephor's Avatar Comment 30 by josephor

Halal/Kosher meat is unnecessary cruelty to animals that is a fact. Female genital mutilation and circumcision s cruelty to human beings in some cases deadly...do the religious people care ? No. We have always been forced to accept or turn a blind eye to sometimes savage cruelty in the name of Religious freedom.

Sun, 12 Dec 2010 16:15:10 UTC | #562077