Shoppers & Consumers want ALL Ritually Slaughtered Meat LABELLED with a simple 'RS' no matter how stunned or what its source is
- Defra Customer Contact Unit, Eastbury House, 30-34 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TL
- United Kingdom
Re: Labelling - Legally we should surely be protected by 'The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008' under Part 2, Section 6 'Misleading omissions'.
The majority of UK Consumers do not need costly Official Certification on products eg.Halal or Kosher Certification, because they are not interested in a products authenticity - they just want to know in plain English if products have any religious association and this can be clear with a simple 'RS' Label.
The Over-Production of Ritually Slaughtered meat in the UK must STOP.... the majority of the population do not follow religious dietary laws and just require normal meat. It seems that Halal over-production was allowed to meet increased demand, but that demand is false, as it only happened, because we have all been unwittingly buying & eating UNLABELLED HALAL for more than 10 years... even in the House of Commons!
UK Statutory Instrument 1995 No. 731
The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, SCHEDULE 12 Regulations 21 and 22 ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR SLAUGHTER BY A RELIGIOUS METHOD specifies that meat is slaughtered by a muslim - for the food of muslims (or by a jew - for the food of jews).
No where does it state that the religious exemption can be used to slaughter for the mass mainstream market.
This ritual slaughter method is a backward step when we consider animal welfare (even with a Reversible-Stun!) and this amount of halal production & distribution certainly seems to step outside of Rules of the Original License of Exemption!
Why is the government allowing over-production of 7th Century Ritually Slaughtered Halal meat in quantities that far exceed the needs of the muslim minority in 21st Century Britain? 95% of the UK population are NOT muslim and these consumers do not require any kind of Religious Regulation or Certification in the name of allah. The majority require conventional meat that has been slaughtered by traditional methods with proper stunning.
British Consumers need a simple an 'RS' Label suitable for All Religious Slaughtered meat & its bi-products no matter how it is stunned or what its source is.
ARTICLE 9 HUMAN RIGHTS ACT: Freedom of Conscience - gives us the right to religious and secular freedom, ie to not be forced to participate in religious rites. Dedicating this meat to a foreign god violates this right: What we have now in Britain is forced participation in another's religion without consent. Christians, Sikhs & Hindus are specifically instructed not to eat this meat...
We need to bypass these irrelevant arguments about stunning: Low-Stun, Post-Stun, Reversible Stun, No Stun; because we Non-Muslims don't need to know if halal is 'authentic halal' or not... that is a matter for muslims to agree on. All halal authorities agree the livestock must be conscious and alive when it is slaughtered and they say the livestock must be able to hear the Bismillah prayer. Notably those Halal Authorities that DO allow stunning are breaking the rules here too, with their Reversible Stun to immobilise, as the level of current used in this method is way below that recommended by the European Food Safety Authority and DEFRA... sadly we see Standards dropping as Regulations are not followed now that would ensure an animal is fully unconscious & permanently insensible to suffering and pain at point of killing. We say NO to Reversible Stunning [RS]. [Addition 1/1/2013] We call on DEFRA to ENFORCE the new WATOK Regulations.
RS' can also stand for 'Religious Standard' and could therefore be used on ALL Products that come under any Religious Standard eg. Halal Products & Services including Meat manufacturing, processing & packaging; abattoirs and butchers for Halal slaughtering techniques and procedures, Pharmaceutical Industries & Financial products; Cosmetics, toiletries, personal care, etc.; Imported Products; Eating establishments, Restaurants, fast food chains, canteens and other food outlets.
Anywhere & anything associated with Ritual Slaughter, Reversible Stunning or a Religious Standard needs labelling 'RS' so we fully understand what we are choosing to buy & eat.
Simple 'RS' labelling can be used on both Halal & Kosher products - solely for the benefit of British consumers & their Right to choose. We want profits to go back into the British economy; not for example, as with halal products, to be channelled towards Islamic ends.
We appeal to those in power to authorise the writing of a suitable policy that will make Labelling ALL Religiously Slaughtered meat a Legal Requirement by Law, so that Shoppers & Consumers all know what they are buying & eating.
Consumers need to be able to identify whether they are buying or eating conventional meat or RS meat, conventional products or RS products.
We fear that if we don't do something NOW, we may find that normal meat will be under-produced and soon become very expensive... which would then force non-muslims to have to buy halal with no alternative.
Please make recommendations to label all 'RS' Products by Law to protect the right of the majority of UK Consumers to be able to have a real choice when they make a purchasing decision of what they use, buy or eat.
We UK Consumers want ALL Ritually Slaughtered Meat & Bi-Products LABELLED with a simple 'RS' no matter how it is stunned or what its source is.
'RS' can also stand for 'Religious Standard' and could therefore be used on ALL Products that come under any Religious Standard.
Anywhere & anything associated with Ritual Slaughter or a Religious Standard needs labelling 'RS' so we fully understand what we are choosing to buy & eat.
The UK needs Consumer confidence to be restored and this will only happen when there is more transparency in Labelling of 'RS' food, goods & services.
We also fully support the EU Parliament's move to Label ALL meat that has been obtained by Slaughter without stunning in the Food Information Regulation (FIR).