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27.10.17

Lancashire CC bans schools from using ‘abhorrent’ non-stunned halal meat

Lancashire County Council has decided to stop buying from providers who use halal meat that was not stunned while it was slaughtered.

The authority chose to take the meat out of circulation for the 27 schools and 12,000 children in the area who currently go to schools which serve halal food.

Leader Geoff Driver told the council on Thursday night that the process of slaughtering conscious animals was “abhorrent” when they could just be stunned first.

The eventual resolution agreed by the council states that it “recognises and respects the Muslim community's requirements for their food to comply with their religious beliefs”, but was “concerned that slaughtering animals without stunning them beforehand causes them unnecessary stress and suffering.”

Poultry are excluded from the ban as they would likely be killed by the initial injection meant to stun them.

The decision could spark a repeat of the 2012 boycott of ‘halal’ meat in school meals by thousands of Muslim children in East Lancashire when the county council adopted a similar policy.

Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) has protested the decision, saying that animals must not be stunned for the meat to be considered truly halal.

Previously the controversy was solved by a council agreement that allowed schools to choose the kind of meat they served to students.

The council said they would include the LCM in talks on the implementation of this policy and would do a joint investigation into stunning poultry.

However, a spokesperson for the religious organisation said they disagreed with the resolution and questioned why there was no consultation from the council before the decision was reached.

A Lancashire CC spokesman commented: “Following a comprehensive debate, Full Council has decided that Lancashire County Council will not provide meat, other than poultry, to its establishments unless animals are stunned before they are slaughtered.

“The council will now consult with the Lancashire Council of Mosques and others on how this can be implemented whilst still providing meals that comply with the Muslim community's beliefs as well as investigating the stunning of poultry before slaughter.”

PSE has reached out to the LCM for a comment.

Top image: DaveBolton

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