British vet calls for end to slaughter without stunning

A senior British veterinarian has called for a halt to slaughtering animals without first stunning them, which is prohibited according to both Jewish and Muslim law.

Bill Reilly, a former president of the British Veterinary Association, wrote in the May issue of the Veterinary Record that the practice of slaughtering animals without stunning is “unacceptable.”

Reilly said about 2 million animals, mostly chickens, were killed without stunning in the U.K. each year for the Jewish community, and that halal meat for Muslims makes up a quarter of the U.K. meat market.

Last June, a bill requiring animals to be stunned before slaughter passed the lower house of the Dutch Parliament. The Dutch senate in December delayed its vote on banning ritual slaughter, appointing a commission to study putting into place new standards for such slaughter.

In 2010, New Zealand banned any slaughter without stunning. The ban was partially turned back to allow for the kosher slaughter of chicken. — jta