The government plans to force all abattoirs in the country to install CCTV amidst concerns that Islamic halal slaughterhouses are inflicting unnecessary cruelty on animals.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has proposed the cameras are placed in all areas where live animals are present with official vets given unrestricted access to the footage.
In April last year, three halal slaughtermen and their bosses from North Yorkshire were charged with the “systematic” abuse of animals killed in accordance with Islamic law, after a charity hid cameras and caught the abuse on film.
Tory MP Philip Davies welcomed the introduction of mandatory CCTV, but he also called for the Government to go further, and bring in mandatory labelling of halal and kosher meat.
“You have no idea that you are getting halal or non-halal. I want it to be labelled so that people can make an informed choice and know exactly what they are buying,” he told The Telegraph.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 16, 2016
British law largely outlaws the slaughter of un-stunned animals, but exceptions are made for the minority religions of Islam and Judaism. Islamic tradition demands animals are killed with a single knife cut to the neck.
The RSPCA, which has campaigned for all animals to be stunned before they are killed, said the introduction of cameras could lead to further change.
Dr. Marc Cooper from the organisation said: “We are encouraged that the issue of slaughter is being brought to the forefront by this announcement and hope this will pave the way for other welfare issues like non-stun slaughter, which the RSPCA firmly opposes, to also be addressed by the Government.
“We are currently urging the public to sign the HM Government petition calling for an end to slaughter without pre-stunning.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 10, 2016
In November last year, campaigners handed a 100,000-signature petition to Downing Street calling for a ban on halal (Muslim) and kosher (Jewish) slaughter.
The petition described un-stunned slaughter as “barbaric” and accuses the food industry of “pandering to the minority group[s]” that support the practice rather than standing up for animal welfare.