Since we formed Scotland for Animals has led the campaign against unstunned slaughter in the UK and for the labeling of these products.
In 2011 SfA exposed that deliberately ineffective stunning methods were being used in Halal slaughter in abattoirs across the UK.
In 2012 we revealed that meat from unstunned animals was being sold illegally throughout the UK food chain.
Authorities falsely claim they are powerless to act.
Every animal slaughtered in the UK must be unconscious throughout the killing process. They must by law remain like this until death. Under current legislation there are exceptions for some religious groups which are allowed to kill animals that are fully conscious while knifed and bled to death.
Freedom of religion is one thing, cruelty is another. Muslims and Jews who oppose unstunned slaughter agree.
Scotland for Animals opposes all slaughter. Until this ends we believe suffering should at the very least be reduced in any way possible.
While we know that all slaughter is extremely traumatic for animals, unstunned slaughter has been proven to be substantially more so.
It's claimed that nearly all Halal meat is from stunned animals. The data that this is taken from is unreliable and the 'stun' used is at levels below those recommended to render an animal unconscious until death.
Without stunning the animal's throat is cut and it is bled to death. It is conscious throughout this process. It can take up to 10 minutes for the animal to die.
Ideally we would like to see these products banned in Scotland. In the meantime:
- We ask the public to stop buying Halal and Kosher meat and animal products.
- We ask that Halal and Kosher meats be clearly labelled so consumers know what they are buying.
- Support Muslim and Jewish organisations and individuals who oppose unstunned slaughter
We're not alone, The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also supports this: "Until slaughter without pre-stunning is banned outright, the Scottish SPCA wishes to see all meat from animals killed in this way clearly labelled so that consumers opposed to the practice do not inadvertently purchase the product."
Countries such as Switzerland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have already banned unstunned slaughter because of its cruelty. Both Westminster and Holyrood have the power to do the same but continue to ignore public calls for an end to the practice.
Most stockists don't advertise that they're selling Kosher or Halal meats. While others simply have signs that are unfamiliar to people who don't speak Arabic or Hebrew. Despite legislation saying consumers must be given enough information to make an informed purchase, authorities do not insist upon religious slaughter products being clearly labelled.
The symbols below are sometimes used to denote religious slaughter products.
Kosher meat can be identified by this sign:
Halal meat can be identified by this sign:
Around the world many religious authorities have ruled stunning to be permissible.
- The video here filmed by our friends at Hillside Animal Sanctuary here shows the reality of unstunned slaughter in the UK.
- Stunning is the practice of making an animal unconscious before killing it to minimise the suffering. Some say that animals are stunned prior to religious slaughter. But the definition of stunning by many religious groups is not what is required in regular slaughterhouses.
- Often the voltage of the stunning is so low that the animal can regain consciousness during knifing and bleeding out.
- If you see the symbols above without the words "Kosher" or "Halal" this has been ruled illegal due to Scotland for Animals' campaign. We are continuing to push for yet more clear labelling of all religious slaughter products by law.
- Many shops unwittingly sell such products as the meats are mixed up at the slaughterhouse.
- It is estimated that up to two thirds of Kosher meat ends up in non-Kosher shops. This would not be the case if labelling was clearer.
WHAT WE WANT
- The removal from law of any exemptions from stunning animals.
- 'Stun-to-immobilise' or any other alleged stunning methods which don't render an animal immediately and completely unconscious until point of death to be banned and this ban enforced.
- Until then the labelling of all meat from animals slaughtered without full and effective stunning.
WHAT CAN I DO?
That's the question most people ask when they realise the gravity of the current situation. Actually you can do quite a lot. Remember doing nothing changes nothing, but actions large and small facilitate change. Your voice can help us get there quicker.
· Participate in the official Scotland for Animals campaign petition!
Please take a few seconds to join the list by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT CAN I DO?
Actually, you can do quite a lot! Remember doing nothing changes nothing, but actions large & small facilitate change. Your voice can help us get there quicker.
- Participate in the offical Scotland for Animals campaign petition!
- Order our free CCTV campaign materials for your workplace, school, library etc. Get your friends and family involved too.
- You can ask your MSP to take note of your concerns and request they take action and request them to support a legal amendment in order to make CCTV mandatory in all of Scotland's slaughter areas. Write to them here.
- Do not buy Halal or Kosher meat or animal products. They are usually found in many takeaways and sandwich bars such as Subway, Baguette Express, Pizza Express, independent and chain curry houses, kebab shops, Tesco, Asda, KFC, etc. They and others all now stock a wide selection.
- Write to theEquality and human Rights Commission and demand that they protect the rights of those who don't want to participate in or fund halal or kosher slaughter.
- Write to your MP/ MSPs here.
- Ask your family, friends and contacts to get involved. Help us get more people on board to push for change.
- Help our campaign by donating. 100% of your donations go directly to fighting for animals
We don't doubt that any campaign that brings religious groups in to the equation will always be heavily scrutinised. Let᾿s shoot to the top of the list and cover the one big question that inevitably will be asked.
· Is Scotland for Animals racist?
Certainly not. Scotland for animals is not protesting religious belief, or the freedom to pursue religious belief. We don't believe people should be allowed to legally inflict suffering on animals in the name of religion. We also campaign for consumers᾿ right not to be sold meat connected to this without being given a chance to avoid it. Put simply, It's not racism to be against unstunned slaughter!
WHAT ABOUT FUNDING?
Many animal welfare organisations take funds from Scotland's citizens but they do absolutely no work up here, nor do they have a clue as to how our Parliamentary system works. We are a Scottish organisation focusing our work and resources in Scotland.
We desperately need funds to make this campaign effective. Please consider making an urgent donation. Large or small, every single penny will go directly towards this. SFA is staffed entirely by volunteers. We take no wages, we have no expensive offices to run and no have no 'staff perks'. This ensures 100% of donation goes straight to the front line.