Andrew Rosindell, the secretary of Parliament's animal welfare group, has joined voices demanding the end of religious slaughter in the UK. As someone with experience in the meat industry, specifically halal, this news troubles me. It troubles me because the argument is flawed, and flawed on many levels.
Anyone who takes Muslims and Jews to task for brutal methods of slaughter yet eats meat regardless of the suffering involved is no less callous. Does the matter of a few more seconds of suffering as they are slaughtered make much difference to the animals who, during their entire short lives, have been treated with unthinking savagery?
I'm preparing for a series of forthcoming events on Muslim majority and minority economies and to freshen up those integration debates - by proposing a new approach for Muslims. This is following the 'China Town' model of creating clearly marked and branded areas open for business and cultural exchanges fit for a non-native majority...
So how could anything be labelled as 'halal', or the more pointed 'slaughtered without stunning', if we didn't know what was in it? We are right to be concerned: what else might be in our food if we can't trace (or criminals are circumventing) the supply chain? Once you ask that question, you won't look at the meat on your plate in the same way ever again.