It isn't racist to speak out against cruelty
Over the past fortnight the issue of ritual slaughter and stunning has been top of the news agenda across the UK.
Scotland for Animals has been campaigning for a complete end to slaughter without fully effective stunning for several years. This campaign has met serious resistance not only from governments but from other animal organisations desperate not to, in what one particular group stated, to “open a can of worms”.
Many animal rights/ welfare organisations and the British Veterinary Association have been falling over themselves to get media airtime attempting to calm the public and assure us that the welfare problems associated to ritual slaughter are overstated.
Below we would like to address some of the claims these organisations have made and give you the facts behind the spin.
“Electro immobilisation is not an approved method during slaughter and is not used whether the slaughter taking place is for religious purposes or not.”
“Islamic teachings require that animals are treated with compassion and respect so for them to use electro immobilisation would completely go against their beliefs.”
“The very fact that up to 90% of British Halal slaughter is now pre stunned is because many religious leaders accepted that pre stunning does not cause injury and follows their teachings of a painless death.”
“most halal meat comes from animals stunned in exactly the same way as ‘conventional’ slaughter.”
The biggest halal certification body in the UK, the Halal Food Authority, states that:
“HFA does not encourage or support the stunning of animals.....However, if required, the birds or animals are permitted to be immobilised temporarily to ease out the process of halal slaughter and also reduce the incidence of flapping of the wings of birds which may result in haemorrhage and poor white meat (poultry) quality”
HFA has stated on record that animals:
"must not be anaesthetised, stunned to be killed or otherwise rendered wholly insensible prior to slaughter. It must be conscious and alive when it is slaughtered."
"Electric stun can be controlled like a dimmer switch on the wall for the immobilisation of the birds and the animals.”
Stunning is legally defined in UK as a procedure that causes immediate unconsciousness and this unconsciousness lasts until the point of death. If animals are conscious when they're slaughtered, as demanded by HFA, they're not stunned.
In the cases where minuscule amperage 'stunning' might indeed knock an animal unconscious the level is so low that it comes round very quickly. The likelihood of animals regaining consciousness before they die is too great to make this method credible.
“over 80% of Halal slaughter in the UK is pre-stunned.”
“around 88% of halal slaughter in the UK is prestunned (sic).”
“at least 90% of animal slaughtered for halal meat are stunned “
The claims rest on a Food Standards Agency survey from 2011 where abattoir vets (OV's) were asked to state what slaughter methods were being used in their posting.
This is the same abattoir vets which will rarely if ever intervene or file reports when the type of brutality and cruelty seen in numerous undercover investigations occurs.
Now animal groups who know the slaughter industry's a free for all are asking you to trust these vets on their word.
We also feel that this data is being manipulated for political reasons. The Food Standards Agency stopped collecting proper data on unstunned slaughter in 2003, they knew the situation was getting out of control and it's widely suspected the FSA didn't want the public to know how widespread this slaughter was becoming.
The survey also only covered one week, FSA has admitted it hasn't collected regular, aggregated data on the number of animals being slaughtered without stunning in UK but rather gathered a very limited snapshot of what was according to these vets over 7 set days.
The meat industry itself further states that it suspects owners of abattoirs which carry out slaughter without stunning avoid admitting this. As the Food Standards Agency has already made clear that it's staff can't supervise slaughter properly because of intimidation by abattoir staff there's a very good chance these vets will be saying exactly what they're told to say.
Animal rights/ welfare organisations have been quoted alleging that:
“The uproar over the labelling of halal meat has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with prejudice.”
“This latest outbreak of fury bears all the hallmarks of ignorance, prejudice and hypocrisy.”
“the public furore and hand-wringing over the labelling of halal meat is categorically not rooted in concern for animal welfare. Much of the noise springs from ‘ignorance at best, and both prejudice and hypocrisy at worst”
The BVA allege labelling of halal meat “could fuel prejudice”
Because you're against deliberately cruel slaughter methods DOES NOT make you ignorant, prejudiced, a racist or any other smears that these groups are firing at you. Ask the many Muslims and Jews who support effective stunning.
Scotland for Animals are against halal and kosher meat which results from unstunned slaughter. And we are sick to death of the words "racist" and "prejudiced" being used against us, our supporters and other opponents of this type of slaughter.
These people never seem to have an explanation as to why many, many Jews and Muslims are also against this cruelty. It's an insult to us all.
Scotland for Animals were out publicising the issue years ago when other groups were hiding behind the curtains. Now people are asking why they haven't acted instead of doing their jobs they're claiming you, us and everybody else who are against legalised cruelty are the bad guys rather than the ones actually carrying out the abuse.
This is a horrific death. If you are sickened by this cruelty and sick of being branded a racist because you speak up against it - join us.
Post a selfie of yourself. Write the words "Not Racist! Just against unstunned slaughter!" Write it on a placard, on your hands, on your face, in lipstick - just get the message out there.
Spread the word, tag us, share this posting. #ScotForAnimals #notracistagainstunstunnedslaughter
Once and for all. Stay strong.