Christian Schools Are Feeding Pupils Halal Meat

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Non-Muslim children at Christian schools may have been fed halal meat from animals that were not stunned before slaughter without their parents’ knowledge, according to a county lawmaker.

Conservative leader of Lancashire County Council Geoff Driver has said he has been contacted by parents from the several Church of England and Catholic schools in the county over concerns their children may be eating meat prepared according to Islamic law without them knowing.

“They are asking, ‘My child goes to school where there are a lot of Muslims. Is my child eating meat from animals that weren’t stunned?’ I am afraid the answer may be yes,” Mr. Driver told The Times.

The Tory lawmaker said schools should be obliged to obtain the consent of parents before serving non-stunned halal to non-Muslim pupils. “My suspicion is that some schools are simply just buying all halal meat because it’s the easiest thing to do,” he said.

The church schools are amongst 27 schools, with a total of 12,000 pupils, in Blackburn, Nelson, Burnley, Rawtenstall, Hyndburn, Clitheroe, and Preston, who are serviced by a supplier under a contract with the council which supplies unstunned halal meat.

Members of Lancashire County Council are set to vote on whether to ban halal meat from animals that have had their throats slit without being stunned, with the council still supplying halal meals for Muslim pupils produced from animals that have been humanely slaughtered.

However, this fails to meet the Lancashire Council of Mosques’ (LCM) interpretation of Islamic law, with Muslim families and pupils threatening to boycott the school meals.

The LCM named several Catholic and Anglican schools that served non-stunned halal meat. Chairman Abdul Qureshi claimed Councillor Driver was on a “crusade” and asserted that the Christian faith schools had “many, many Muslims now. Some of them are 50 per cent Muslim, some may be even more.”

The Times reached out to the Christian schools listed by the LCM, but none were able to respond definitely if halal food was being fed to non-Muslim or Christian pupils, with one headteacher responding that he did not know because the decision was made by the dinner ladies.

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