Thursday, June 30 2016

Bournemouth campaigner seeks halal labelling for all cafes and takeaways

Local paper, Bournemouth Echo, reports on a campaign instigated by a local publican to compel eateries in Bournemouth to disclose whether the meat served is halal.

From the local paper:

“A man is calling for all Bournemouth cafes and takeaways to be obliged to say whether their meat is slaughtered by Muslim rules.

“Animal rights campaigner Gary Hazel claimed some of the methods used are “very cruel” and people should be able to make an informed choice.

“Jewish and Muslim communities are exempt from a law that requires animals to be stunned before their throats are cut.

“Gary Hazel, 37, a chef and publican from Bournemouth town centre, said: “A lot of people confuse the issue with race and religion.

““That’s a distraction. For me, it’s animal cruelty, and the way they slaughtered.”

“He spoke out after trying eight different cafes on a night out and finding all served Halal meat.

“He then went on a tour of takeaways between Ashley Cross and Boscombe with a vegan friend and after speaking to the staff said he found 41 out of 45 served Halal meat.

“Mr Hazel has written to the council and Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns about the issue.

“He said: “Bournemouth council could make it a condition of licence that all meat products could be clearly labelled so we could at least make an informed choice about where we spend our money.”

“Bournemouth Council said the national law do not oblige takeaways to put up notices saying whether they serve Halal or non Halal meat.

“The council does have the power to compel those that advertise Halal meat to prove that it is genuine.

“Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer, said: “As far as licensing is concerned we are unable to impose conditions on licences regarding the origins of meat.”

“Cllr Dave Smith, the cabinet member for communities, whose portfolio covers licensing, said: “This issue is not a priority for the council at the moment.

““I am sure if customers inquire they would be informed how the meat was prepared.”

“The campaign group Compassionate Dorset said: “We believe in protecting animal’s rights to a pain-free death. We are against unstunned Halal and Kosher meat.” “

Halal meat and its ready availability in eating places around the country has been the focus of an implicit Islamophobia campaign according to Professor Joe Regenstein of Cornell University. In a feature article in the New Statesman some months ago, Regenstein said:

"Many of those attacking religious slaughter have no clue as to what is happening. It is more of an Islamophobic issue, not an animal well-being issue."

The animal welfare argument has been exploited by the BNP, with the party leading protests against a Subway franchise in Sunderland because it sold halal meat.

It is noteworthy that Mr Hazel’s contention lies with halal meat, and not kosher meat. Indeed, much of the hysteria and the way in which the debate is conducted singles out halal meat though the religious slaughter methods permitted by law governs both halal and kosher meat.

The government recently launched a consultation on religious slaughter details of which can be found here.


0 #2 Halal MeatIftikhar 2012-10-25 21:09
Halal and Kosher butchers are skilled folk. It has been proven that correct blood letting, with the head held in the correct manner and restrained can be less traumatic than temporary stunning and a general cut. If you watch some of the footage of stunning you will find many animals come round and die quite slowly. A correct insertion of the butchers knife very quickly removes the blood pressure from the brain and the animal dies quite quickly and with very little pain. I think some folk could benefit with doing a little research. I couldn't care less if a prayer is said at the point of slaughter, to me the meat will taste the same, blessed or not.

The debate about stunning the beast or not prior to slaughter is a little more contentious. Hate groups like the BNP jumped on the animal rights bandwagon so they could have a go at Islam in this country by arguing that not stunning prior to slaughter is barbaric and should be outlawed. The same hate group supported the Countryside Alliance in its fight to save hunting with dogs.

Humankind has been slaughtering animals for thousands of years without stunning, so when some well-off animal rights type tries to tell us we're cruel in our methods, I'm inclined to tell them to screw themselves. All that being said, I do however support better conditions for meat-trade bound animals while they're alive. Now that does affect how the meat tastes.

As a Muslim I would not want anyone to be eating meat which they are not comfortable eating in the same way I would not want to eat meat which is not halal. So agree that should be labelled. If this country outlawed Halal or Kosher meat I would be happy to be vegetarian..... no problems. I think we create issues to divide us when they aren't really problems. The Prayer at the time the animal is killed is to remind us that killing is a scared act and should not be undertaken for fun or pleasure but is a necessity. So you seek Gods permission and blessing before sacrificing one of his creatures. The process of slitting the throat with a knife sharpened just beforehand and in one go is designed to ensure that the animal feels as little pain as possible and the meat remains healthy for human consumption. In hot countries this probably was very important. Unfortunately some Muslims have forgotten how important it is to treat animals and humans with care and not to allow unnecessary suffering. Jews and Muslims slaughter animals in a similar fashion. Jews had been doing it thousands of years before the Muslims. Makes me wonder why its always against the Muslims and not against the Jews!!
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0 #1 RE: Bournemouth campaigner seeks halal labelling for all cafes and takeawaysMikebloke 2012-10-25 18:54
One of the major problems with this situation of people campaigning about labelling halal meat as a form of prejudice is the basic fact that it would be an ease of mind for us Muslims too to know just which places are selling at least some form of halal meat, and would not have to rely on questioning staff members who aren't always entirely sure whether it is or not (or in some cases even what it is!).

I'm sure I've been in a number of establishments by now which I probably could have eaten meat but didn't want the awkwardness of asking.
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