Jewish Community Decries British Veterinary ‘Dereliction of Duty’

Mar 6, 2014

The Jewish Community responded with great concern this morning following renewed calls on the front page of The Times newspaper from the incoming President of the British Veterinary Association, John Blackwell, for religious slaughter to be banned.

Shimon Cohen campaign director of Shechita UK, which campaigns on behalf of the Jewish community for the right to carry out religious slaughter, commented, “This is an extraordinary dereliction of duty from Mr Blackwell and the BVA. Of the countless pressing animal welfare issues that we are faced with today, he has chosen to focus on an issue which is not supported by scientific consensus and which affects a tiny minority of animals. The fact is that religious slaughter, is at least as humane as the industrialised methods used in conventional mechanical slaughter which include electrocution, gassing, shooting, trapping, drowning and clubbing.”

Whereas, religious slaughter without mechanical stunning, accounts for a tiny fraction of the meat processed every year in the UK, animal welfare groups have uncovered widespread and unspeakable cruelty at conventional slaughterhouses across the country in recent years.

In a recent undercover investigation, Animal Aid discovered and recorded abhorrent cruelty to animals at eight out of nine slaughterhouses selected at random.

Mr Cohen added, “The kind of scenes uncovered at these abattoirs are unheard of where kosher meat is concerned in this country because animal welfare is at the heart of everything that we do. It is scandalous that, once again, in the context of such pervasive cruelty in so many abattoirs, that the BVA continue to single out faith communities for criticism.”