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Shechita report welcomed

Last updated: 2005-03-11



Shechita UK has welcomed the Government’s Final Response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Report on the Welfare of Animals at Slaughter, in particular its strong commitment to respect the right of the Jewish community to continue shechita in the UK.

Shechita UK has led the Jewish Community’s response to the controversial FAWC Report, published in June 2003, which recommended to Government to repeal the right of the Jewish Community to practise shechita, the Jewish religious humane method of animal slaughter for food.  Since submitting a formal response to the Government, Shechita UK has continued to lobby Government to ensure that the case of the UK Jewish Community was heard and understood.

The Government’s Final Response retracts its previous acceptance of FAWC’s assertions about the subjective experience of animals during shechita, which state: “on balance, animals (especially cattle) slaughtered without pre-stunning are likely to experience very significant pain and distress”. In addition, the Government now acknowledges the scientific evidence that we submitted which demonstrates that shechita is a humane method of animal slaughter for food. FAWC chose to ignore this evidence in their original report.

Henry Grunwald QC, Chairman of Shechita UK, commented: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised and understood our concerns. The Government’s response means that the Jewish community can continue freely to practise the Jewish religious humane method of animal slaughter for food in this country. Shechita UK has been working for the past 18 months to protect shechita from the potential impact of FAWC’s inaccurate and biased report and the Government is to be commended for the consideration it has shown towards the Jewish Community following the publication of its draft response last year.”

"However the work of Shechita UK is not yet complete. We believe that Shechita should be unequivocally acknowledged as a humane method of animal slaughter for food."

For more information: Shechita UK