It has been recommended by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, the RSPCA, and the British Veterinary Association, to name but a few, that the current legal exemption for “religious slaughter” be repealed. This form of slaughter (by slicing the animal’s neck without any form of stunning and then allowing the animal to bleed to death) is widely accepted as being cruel, out-dated and barbaric. A scientific study, led by Craig Johnson in New Zealand, proved that animals felt pain during this type of slaughter, causing them to suffer unnecessarily. New Zealand is the latest country to ban all forms of religious slaughter. The law in the UK already demands pre-stunning to prevent cruelty and suffering. The reason for the exemption, which is down to the chosen “beliefs” of a minority of people, is unacceptable and holds no ground. Animals have no choice when it comes to their lifestyle. Apart from the fact that millions of animals are being abused because of this, there is also meat which has been “religiously slaughtered”, but is of no use to their communities for a number of reasons. Therefore it makes its way into the mainstream market and is bought by trusting consumers who believe the product they are buying has come from humane origins. This is also unacceptable. This exemption must be lifted immediately as it is unfair, cruel and fools the unsuspecting public into thinking they are buying something which they are not.
The Slaughterhouses Act 1974 c.3 (part II (3)) allows for the slaughter of animals without prior stunning, This exemption must be repealed in order that all animals are rendered insensible to pain at slaughter.