- Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers ruled out the introduction of meat labels
- Animal groups lobbied for shoppers to have more info on meat the were buying
- Exemption to UK animal welfare legislation allows for slaughter without stunning
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has ruled out the introduction of meat labels that tell consumers if the animals were slaughtered without first being stunned.
Animal welfare groups had lobbied for shoppers to be told if the meat they were buying had come from halal or kosher abattoirs, which cut animals’ throats without first stunning them.
But Ms Villiers told online newspaper Jewish News: ‘I don’t envisage changes. In any case, I wouldn’t accept change which could put up the costs of food for the (Jewish) community.’
An exemption to UK animal welfare legislation allows for slaughter without stunning if the meat is intended for consumption by Jews or Muslims.
But the animals that provide 85 per cent of halal meat in Britain are pre-stunned to ensure they are unconscious before slaughter.
No animals used for kosher meat are stunned.