More than 4,000 people have signed a local petition demanding an end to schools serving Sharia law-compliant “non-stun” halal meat “without the knowledge or consent of the majority of pupils and parents”.
In October, a Freedom of Information request by the National Secular Society found Kirklees Council supplied the halal meat to 40 schools with thousands of pupils, many of whom are not Muslim.
A Kirklees Council spokesman has previously insisted its school meals policy was “kept under review” and was developed following consultation with parents, children, and representatives of the Islamic faith.
“In some schools all of the meat served is non-stunned and there is no alternative option for pupils,” the petition reads.
“The council has refused to say which schools are affected. There is no need for the council to supply non-stunned halal meat when the majority of halal meat is pre-stunned.”
Earlier this month, Lancashire County Council voted to stop serving most non-stunned meat by an overwhelming majority.
More than 2,700 people have signed a very well-worded petition calling on Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire to stop supplying non-stun meat to children in its schools. You can sign it here https://t.co/QOxSLS0tcz #AnimalWelfare #halal
— National Secular Society (@NatSecSoc) November 20, 2018
Research released last month by the National Secular Society (NSS) showed around 18 councils across the UK are supplying at least 140 schools with non-stunned meat – most of which are not Islamic faith schools.
Othe local authorities found to “supply meat to large numbers of schools, meaning thousands of pupils may be eating it” included West Yorkshire, Luton Borough Council, Bolton Council, and Leicester Council.
The NSS said that “too many councils had bowed to a hardline interpretation of Islam” demanding the government repeal the religious exemption to animal welfare laws.
Lancashire Bans ‘Non-Stun’ Meat From Schools, But 1-in-10 Councils ‘Bow to Hardline Islam’ and Serve Halal https://t.co/Z8TssXaAYz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 18, 2018
An outright ban on “non-stun” meat could also affect Jewish communities who eat Kosher meat, some of which is also not stunned before killing.
However, the United Kingdom has not seen prominent cases of non-Jewish children being served Kosher meat without their knowledge, and the petition merely calls for parents and children to be notified and given the option not to consume the meat.
Most animal rights groups are against “non-stun” meat, with the RSPCA saying: “For slaughter to be humane, it’s essential that animals are effectively stunned.”
The British Veterinary Association, representing 17,000 British vets, believes that “all animals should be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain,” arguing scientific evidence supports this claim.
They have called for exports of the non-stun meat to be recorded after the government signed a deal with Saudi Arabia and the proportion of animals not being stunned before slaughter in the UK surged in just a few years.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 10, 2016