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Calls for council to stop serving pupils halal meat.

Byline: LAUREN BALLINGER lauren.ballinger@reachplc.com @REPORTERLAURENB

ALMOST 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on Kirklees Council to stop serving schoolchildren halal meat from animals which were not stunned before slaughter.

The council has admitted 40 schools in the area were serving the meat in school dinners.

A huge debate was provoked locally - and the petition has gathered 986 signatures within 24 hours.

Petition founder Aleksandar Lukic posted: "Every day children in Kirklees schools are served meat from animals that have been slaughtered while fully conscious, suffering unnecessary pain and distress.

"It is a legal requirement that animals must be humanely stunned before slaughter, but non-stun slaughter is still permitted for some religious communities.

The RSPCA says: "For slaughter to be humane, it's essential that animals are effectively stunned.

"The British Veterinary Association, representing 17,000 British vets, believes that 'all animals should be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain' and highlights that scientific evidence supports the use of pre-stunning to improve animal welfare. Both organisations are gravely concerned at recent increases in nonstun slaughter.

"Kirklees Council has been serving nonstunned halal meat in 42 schools without the knowledge or consent of the majority of pupils and parents. In some schools all of the meat served is non-stunned and there is no alternative option for pupils. The council has refused to say which schools are affected.

"There is no need for the council to supply non-stunned halal meat when the majority of halal meat is prestunned. Most Muslims are content with stunning."

Mr Lukic, who stood as a UKIP candidate in Batley and Spen in the 2015 general election, highlighted how other councils had ended the practice, saying for Kirklees Council to continue to do so was 'unethical.' He said: "Everyone has the right to observe and practice their religion in a free society, but it is clearly unethical for Kirklees Council to serve non-stunned meat to public schoolchildren. Our council has a duty to treat animals in a more humane way."

Current laws require animals to be stunned before slaughter, meaning they should not be able to feel pain before they are killed.

But exemptions are in place for religious purposes, such as within Muslim and Jewish communities.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2018
Words:375
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