This should be an animal welfare issue

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This should be an animal welfare issue

As the controversy rages at County Hall over the serving of unstunned halal meat for school dinners across Lancashire, my local county councillor comes out strongly in favour of the supply of unstunned killing.

I disagree entirely and wholeheartedly support the opinion of LCC Leader Geoff Driver who describes the process of slaughtering animals, without first stunning them, as “abhorrent”.

I am gravely concerned about the pain and fear millions of unstunned animals in the UK experience at the time of slaughter.

The British Veterinary Association calls for animals to be electrically stunned before slaughter and it has been mandatory within the EU since 1979 with Switzerland, Denmark,Norway and Iceland in agreement.

Quite disgracefully, our liberal Government has made an exemption to allow religious slaughter without stunning.

I would go further and argue that legislation be introduced to require all slaughterhouses be monitored by CCTV.

A recent TV documentary highlighted the abuse of animals in slaughterhouses and a former slaughterman confided in me the pain and distress unstunned animals suffer.

Whilst I appreciate this is a sensitive and emotive issue, I insist it is an animal welfare issue, not one of religious freedom.

In addition, I feel that the consumer should be given the choice to decide for themselves whether or not to consume meat from animals that have not been pre-stunned. I call for mandatory labelling of the method of slaughter on all meat products.

I fervently hope that, when councillors vote next month, they have the welfare of animals at the forefront of their minds.

Jim Oldcorn

Great Harwood