When animal welfare comes second...
Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said that the FAWC recommendation that the Government should ban religious slaughter without stunning on welfare grounds had understandably been deeply contentious for the Jewish and Muslim communities across the UK, to whom this is a matter of fundamental concern.
Mr Bradshaw said: "We are grateful to FAWC for their work, seeking to improve the welfare of farm animals - a goal we share. We also accept that there are deeply held beliefs on both sides of aspects of this argument. We will not ban the production of halal or kosher meat.
The full response is here
Recommendation 61 (Para 201): Council considers that slaughter without pre-stunning is unacceptable and that the Government should repeal the current exemption.
Response: Do not accept. The Government accepts the reportís conclusion that, on balance, animals (especially cattle) slaughtered without pre-stunning are likely to experience very significant pain and distress. We also recognise that certain religious groups in the UK are constrained from eating meat from animals that are stunned at the time of slaughter. If the UK were to ban the slaughter of animals without prior stunning, it will mean that these groups will need to import meat from other countries. There will thus be no improvement in total animal welfare. Furthermore, the Government believes that a ban on religious slaughter would not be consistent with the provision of the Human Rights Act 1998 which implements the European Convention on Human Rights.
So how does the case of Fox Hunting differ from that?