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UK party comes out against kosher slaughter

Britain’s right-wing UKIP party has come out in support of passing legislation that would ban the production of ritually slaughtered meat.

The move by UKIP, or the United Kingdom Independence Party, came Tuesday in a statement sent to media, making UKIP the first major political party in the country to call for a ban on religious slaughter for halal and kosher meat.

A kosher slaughterer slaughters a chicken in Israel. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a kosher butcher slaughtering a chicken (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Animal and veterinary science has long concluded that cutting the throats of animals whilst they are fully conscious can cause significant distress and pain,” the statement reads. Stunning before slaughter must occur as it is “fully compatible with all world religions,” the text also said.

Jewish religious laws, or halacha, requires animals be conscious when they are slaughtered – a principle which is accepted by the major denominations of Judaism in certifying food as kosher. A similar requirement exists in Islam, though it is less strictly observed according to some accounts.

Many Jewish professional slaughterers and rabbis claim that kosher slaughter, or shehitah, is as quick, painless and compassionate as any other method used in Western commercial slaughterhouses.

— JTA

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