Within the halal UK meat industry, animal welfare is a top priority, as stated by a leading consultant, who addressed delegates at an EBLEX event held in Milton Keynes.
Importance of welfare
Speaking at the launch of a new DVD about halal meat which is targeted at public sector caterers, consultant to EBLEX, Nizar Boga has told the industry representatives that the welfare of animals is vital to Islamic traditions.
“Animal welfare is at the top of Muslim theology. That is my hobby horse. That is something that is badly missing in the slaughter equation when people forget the rights of animals. Animal rights are at the top of the agenda,” Boga stated.
Halal meat concept misunderstood
The former Environmental Services director further added that he discovered a lot of his fellow Muslims did not entirely understand what halal actually meant.
He also said that there are a minority of ‘halal’ butchers who sold non-halal meat, and that there was feeling among some people that stunning could be accepted as part of the ritual.
According to Tony Goodger, foodservice trade manager, the DVD was also targeted at creating greater understanding that good standards of halal meat production are used in the UK.
Halal standards to be addressed
“There is this view at the moment, more and more shifting towards stunning,” said Boga.
Boga is appealing to organisations outside the Muslim community like Defra, EBLEX, the Food Standards Agency and the National Farmers’ Union in order to assist in organising halal standards.