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Stunning Use under Halal, Kosher Practices Revealed

24 February 2011

UK - No poultry are now slaughtered for halal production without stunning while no kosher poultry are stunned before killing, according to a senior Defra official. However, the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) says all poultry at its certified plants are killed witohut prior stunning.

The Muslim News of the UK reports that Lord Moonie asked the Government "What estimate they have made of the number of domesticated animals and birds slaughtered in 2010 without being stunned first."

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lord Henley, responded that the most recent data on the slaughter of animals without prior stunning was published in March 2004 by the Meat Hygiene Service in its Animal Welfare Review. The data was collected through a survey of meat plants between 1 and 7 September 2003.

The number of animals killed over that period without prior stunning for the production of Kosher and Halal meat: cattle, 365; calves 8; young lambs, 6,845; other sheep, 11,454; goats, 62; broilers, 167,745; hens, 15,900; turkeys, 749 and ducks, 610.

More recent data collected by the EU Dialrel project shows that, of the UK abattoirs surveyed, 100 per cent of the animals and birds slaughtered for the production of Kosher meat were slaughtered without prior stunning. For Halal meat, 25 per cent of cattle and seven per cent of sheep were slaughtered without prior stunning. The Dialrel data also indicates that no poultry were slaughtered for Halal production without stunning. (Source: Hansard, House of Lords, Written Answers, January 18)

However, one of the many organisations which certify halal meat products, the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC), told The Muslim News that "Poultry certified by HMC is done without stunning. HMC does not actually certify any abattoir as such, HMC certifies the poultry product that has been witnessed and labelled by the HMC inspectors on site at the time of slaughter."

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