After Brexit, the government will seriously consider ensuring the clear labelling of un-stunned Halal and Kosher meat, which is widely considered to be cruel to animals.
Both the British Veterinary Society and RSPCA believe that religious slaughter without stunning causes unnecessary suffering to animals.
However, the meat is frequently sold to unsuspecting British consumers, such as in Pizza Express and many schools. And, as Breitbart London revealed last year, some London hospital canteens only sell Halal, leaving those who object on ethical grounds only able to eat vegetarian options.
Michael Gove, the environment secretary, has said animal welfare will be tightened after Brexit and now the farming minister, George Eustice, has said clear labelling will be investigated when the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr. Eustice called for consumers to be able to make an “informed choice” about what they buy in UK shops.
He said: “There is no national or EU requirement to display the method of slaughter on meat products but where this is included it must be accurate.
“The Government believes that consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice about their food, and this is something we can consider in the context of leaving the EU.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 16, 2016
Stunning of livestock before slaughter has been mandatory across the EU since 1979, but special exemptions are made for religious slaughter.
However, after Brexit, both Schechita UK (which campaigns for Jewish slaughter in the UK) and the Muslim Council of Britain indicated they would not be opposed to the clear labelling of meat.
Shimon Cohen, campaign director at Schechita UK, told The Telegraph: “The Jewish community fully supports the notion that consumers have every right to know what they are eating.”
Omer El-Hamdoon, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, added: “We fully support the labelling or meat, and even to make that distinction between stunned meat and unstunned meat. But it’s important that all meats are labelled accurately.”
In 2016, campaigners handed a petition containing 100,000 signatures to Downing Street, calling for a ban on Halal and Kosher slaughter in the UK on the grounds of animal rights.