Monday, 8 November 2010

Creeping Sharia

BNP Councillor, Cathy Duffy, has written to various supermarket chains, querying the standards of slaughter of their meat products, specifically halal slaughter.
This is the reply from the Co-op (text in 'bold' is by me):

"Dear Madam

"All own-brand fresh and frozen meat and poultry sold in Co-operative and Somerfield stores has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, and all abattoirs and processing plants supplying our own-brand products are required to work to the standards laid down by the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice.

"All our own-brand meat and poultry, with the exception of seasonal New Zealand lamb, is British Farm Assured. We require the New Zealand farms, abattoirs and processing plants to adopt the same high welfare standards as we expect from sites in the UK.

"As is the case with the overwhelming majority of lamb from New Zealand, our own-brand lamb from New Zealand is slaughtered in accordance with halal procedure, but, as detailed above, all animals are humanely stunned prior to slaughter.

"All our own-brand British lamb has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, to the standards laid down by the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice. We do not specify halal in our product specification, although several of our supplying sites produce only pre-stunned halal lamb.

"As the process used for all our own-brand lamb is essentially the same, and the welfare of the animal is not compromised at any stage, we do not label any of the lamb as halal. We are currently awaiting further guidance in relation to the labelling of these products, and will consider future actions once we are in receipt of this guidance.

Commercial Team
Pauline Franey
Customer Relations Officer

Cllr Duffy says:

"I am beginning to think that all the large supermarkets have now got together and decided on one 'standard' reply to complaints based on the responses I have received from the other stores which is pretty much like this one!

"Why can't I bring myself to believe what they say though?

"Since we have started to shop at markets and other shops, local farms and a local butcher, who does not believe in the Halal way killing of livestock, etc, we are beginning to notice some rather 'large' savings in the purse - so I guess it really does pay to 'shop around'."

Halal slaughter is a component of Islamic Sharia law; for muslims, food must be halal compliant. For strict muslims, they need to know that their meat is definitely halal compliant, and we who wish to avoid it need to know what we are buying, so it should be labelled.
Whether stunned or not (I'd like to see proof of that!), only muslims are allowed to work with the production of halal meat, which also involves Islamic prayers being said over each animal. Thus, halal slaughterhouses discriminate against non-muslim workers, denying them equal rights in the labour market. By buying halal slaughtered meat we would be complicit in one more example of Sharia law creeping into Britain.
It's very similar to Jewish kosher meat, but when did you ever see this in the supermarket? Why the covert introduction of Islamic-style food onto our shelves now?

Asda has a halal meat section, but I noticed last week that it was much smaller than usual; I also noticed one or two packs of halal-labelled meat tucked into the normal section, Given the growing number of muslim customers at this store, does this mean that all Asda meat is now halal assured?

Sadly, I won't be buying any more New Zealand lamb. In fact, I'll only be buying pork products at supermarkets in future, and taking Cllr Duffy's advice of only buying other meat from local sources, from butchers who can assure me of where the animals were slaughtered. And I won't be eating chicken or steak in pubs and restaurants either because they can't, or won't, tell me where it comes from.

How about you? Are you going to be complicit in creeping Sharia, or are you going to be a bit more careful with what you're actually buying? And wouldn't you rather support British butchers anyway, who refuse to kow-tow to medieval methods of slaughter?

* A Daily Mail reporter discovers the gruesome truth about halal slaughter in Britain today. Read his article HERE

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