The main issue involved with Halal preparation is the lack of a stunning procedure prior to the slaughtering of the animal involved. Many groups are claiming that this method of execution is cruel and abusive. Although Halal activists stand firm in their belief that the animals they kill do not suffer prior to death, they also agree that the labelling of Halal products may cause some to turn away from these products.
There could, perhaps, also be an argument made that stigmas against Islamic culture are also a significant point of concern for those who sell Halal products. Many countries in Europe have been locked in a bitter cultural struggle as an influx of Islamic migrants slowly replace the prevailing, age-old customs and practices. Although the United Kingdom remains largely devoid of Islamic majorities, there remains an element of suspicion and distrust towards these groups.
Labelservice, a popular UK-based labelling company, has stated that they endorse full transparency when it comes to labels, and a food label stating the animal was killed in any way other than humanely falls under this category. Essentially, if the law is changed to accommodate the labelling of Halal, Labelservice would be in favour of the new policies. If the law doesn’t change, Labelservice has stated that they won’t change either.
When asked for his opinion on the issue, Gary Lovell, managing director of Labelservice, stated, “Since Labelservice was founded, we’ve strived to uphold the EU’s and Government’s laws regarding complete transparency on all products, particularly food labels. We’ve done this not only because it’s the law, but because people deserve to know everything about the meat they’re purchasing. Recently, the issue over Halal labelling has proved to be quite divisive. If the Government were to incorporate a law which states that the labelling of Halal meat was compulsory, we would stand by this decision completely. We believe people deserve to know how their meat was killed, regardless of whether some people would call Halal killing inhumane or not.”
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