Saturday, September 6, 2008

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - Calls for Ban on Religious Slaughter Methods

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - Animal rights campaigners will call on MSPs this week to ban the Islamic and Jewish method of slaughtering animals, claiming there can be no exemptions purely on the grounds of religious belief.

A petition will be heard, backed by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), arguing that animals can only be killed in Scotland if pre-stunned first.

Jews believe that animals should be slaughtered using methods known as the ’schechita’ respectively. A sharp knife is used to cut its throat. The meat must then be ‘purified’ by the blood being drained and the spinal cord removed. In Jewish custom, the meat is then described as kosher.

Activist Josey Rowan said: “I fully recognise the requirement for religiously observant people to eat meat prepared by means of shechitah or dhabiha. But I am persuaded by literature which suggests that such methods of slaughter cause undue distress to animals.”

Rowan has now won support from the SSPCA in a submission to the Parliament. The petition is also being backed by the group Advocates for Animals.

But the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said: “Shechitah is indubitably a humane means of killing animals for meat, and is a manifestation of the importance that Judaism and Jewish Law ascribe to animal welfare.”

Scottish ministers have said they do not support a ban on the method of killing.

As of now, no animals in Scotland are slaughtered using the Jewish or Muslim methods, with all such meat being brought up from England.

Source: Scotland on Sunday

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