Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Halal meat: are you eating it without choosing it?

British public has no idea that they are eating halal meat, a senior member of the Church of England’s governing body said yesterday.

In comments likely to spark controversy, Alison Ruoff said, ‘this is just another back door way to the Islamification of our country.”

Livestock destined for halal meat is dispatched in a process that involves the animal being prayed over by a Muslim butcher as its throat is cut. Some religious abattoirs do no stun the animal, as Sharia law stipulate that the animal must hear the prayer. It’s estimated that it can take around 30 seconds to die.

Alison Ruoff continued: “We are still a Christian country in that 71% of people in the UK believe in a Christian God, not a Muslim God.”*

The interview on Premier Christian Radio’s Woman to Woman show yesterday tackled the issue of unlabelled halal meat being sold to unsuspecting customers in supermarkets; an issue that affect people of all faiths, and not just Christians.
Ruoff revealed that most stores stock halal lamb only, with Morrisons being the only store to label their products.

She believes that most meat imported from New Zealand is halal, enabling them to sell on to Muslim markets. She alleged that economically it’s cheaper to butcher the animals in the same way, rather than halal and non-halal.

Joy Barrow, Interfaith Relations Officer said: ”No person should be made to eat halal meat. Clearly it’s an issue of labelling.”

However, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “The specifications we give to our lamb suppliers relate to the safety, legality, quality, hygiene, animal welfare standards and product packaging for our lamb. We do not ask or check for compliance with any specific halal requirements, so couldn’t robustly support any halal claim on our packaging.”
Although when asked to explain a previous Sainsbury’s Head Office claim that all meat is halal, a later statement said, “In the case of lamb, Sainsbury’s purchases it from suppliers that use halal licensed abattoirs, which adhere to our strict quality and animal welfare standards.”
 
A Morrisons spokesperson said, “We only sell 100% British fresh beef, lamb and poultry. None of it is halal. The vast majority of our fresh beef and lamb is processed at our own abattoirs in Britain.  We adhere to high standards of animal welfare.  All of the cattle, lamb and poultry are stunned prior to slaughter.
 
However they went on to say: “Our own label frozen lamb is currently sourced from New Zealand and is halal, the animal is humanely stunned before slaughter and a prayer is read. We sell a limited range of halal and Kosher-branded frozen food products which are all clearly labelled as such.”

Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media Group said, “This is clearly a matter for concern. If meat were labelled properly people would have an educated choice on whether to eat halal meat or not. The British public, whatever religion they are, have a right to decide for themselves.”

Courtesy by: Inspire Magazine

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