On Sunday activists from various Generation Identity UK branches gathered in Birmingham to demonstrate their opposition to ritual slaughter. Donning mock-Arabian attire, they ‘slaughtered’ the famous Bullring Bull.

By law, religious communities are exempt from having to pre-stun livestock before the act of slaughter itself. According to the RSPCA, this causes “unnecessary” suffering to animals. In addition, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, in its report on the ‘Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing’, concluded…

  • The level of restraint of conscious animals required for slaughter without pre-stunning was far greater than for conventional slaughter
  • A large cut made across the neck of a conscious animal would “result in very significant pain and distress” before the animal loses consciousness (around 5 to 7 seconds for sheep, 22 to 40 seconds for adult cattle).
  • “Slaughter without pre-stunning is unacceptable and that the Government should repeal the current exemption”.

The ritual slaughter industry is enormous in the United Kingdom. Halal slaughter alone is a multi-million-pound industry. Most disturbingly, millions of British citizens are thought to be consuming ritually slaughtered meat without their knowledge. Lord Trees, a former president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, has written “It’s very difficult to have accurate traceability when meat may go through the food chain and pass through several different people’s hands. Various parts of it will go in all sorts of directions into different food chains and different processing systems, often different countries.”

Several countries have now banned the slaughter of livestock without prior stunning, including the likes of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. In Slovenia, ritual slaughter is banned in general. Generation Identity UK believes that the government should start by illegalising slaughter without prior stunning. It should then, in time, proceed to remove ritual slaughter from our society in general.

Barbaric and inhumane practices, Halal or Shechita (the Jewish equivalent) have no place in Europe. Animal welfare must always come before religious practices.