To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that religious exemptions for the slaughter of meat and poultry are (a) maintained and (b) protected.
16 March 2020
The Government accepts the right of Muslims and Jews to eat meat killed in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Since 1933 there have been provisions in UK law that permit the slaughter of animals without prior stunning in order to meet Jewish and Islamic religious requirements.
The Government has adopted stricter national regulations over the years which ensure extensive protections for animals slaughtered without stunning in accordance with religious rites. These are set down in the Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015. These regulations continue to ensure that religious exemptions are maintained and protected.