Labelling in the News

May 12, 2014

Discussions about religious slaughter appeared in the media once again on Wednesday 7th May, when The Sun and the Daily Mail both ran stories which claimed to ‘expose’ the fact that a chain of pizza restaurants was using Halal chicken in its food without informing customers.

The Response
Whilst the majority of recent media coverage on this issue has focussed on calls for a ban on religious slaughter, Shechita UK was keen for the debate to focus much more on consumer information. Opponents of shechita in the animal welfare lobby have long called for meat labelling in a limited form, which identifies only meat in two categories: religious slaughter and everything else. We have always responded to those calls by asking for much more comprehensive and honest food labelling.

Together with Muslim community we submitted our views to the Daily Telegraph in an open letter, this led to further coverage including the front page of the newspaper.

The Result
The letter was picked up extremely widely and the fact that it was Jews and Muslims calling for comprehensive labelling led almost every news outlet’s coverage of the story. This included BBC News, Channel Four news, ITV News, The Times and the Financial Times.  As a result, the debate has shifted towards consumer information and away from calls for a ban. We have included some of the coverage highlights for your interest.