Religious leaders call for clear halal labelling

08th May 2014 - Fine Cut

Following a report in the Sun that diners in Pizza Express have been eating halal chicken without realising, campaigners have been calling for clearer labelling so customers are not "duped" into eating halal meat products, potentially against their will.

In a letter written to the Telegraph, Henry Grunwald QC - chairman of the Jewish representative body Shechita UK - and Dr Shuja Shafi - deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain - have said how the methods by which animals are slaughtered should be more clearly outlined on packaging and menus. 

The leaders claim labelling should state whether or not an animal was stunned prior to being slaughtered - and if so, whether or not more than one attempt of this was necessary - and details of the slaughter method used. The latter might take the form of electrocution, gassing or any of the other approved practices.

“Comprehensive labelling should be supported by faith communities and animal welfare groups alike. It would offer all consumers genuine choice - whether they are motivated by animal welfare, religious observance or even intolerance of anyone who looks or worships differently to them," the letter read.

However, in an interview with ITV News, British Retail Consortium director Andrew Opie has dismissed concerns surrounding the halal issue that have come about since the Sun's allegations. Stating how the process has been going on for a number of years, Mr Opie stated: "The key thing is that these animals are being slaughtered and stunned in exactly the same way in any slaughterhouse. The only difference is a prayer is said and various issues are dealt with to allow New Zealand [in the case being discussed] to be able to export to countries in the Middle East."

As far as this halal issue is concerned, he added: "There's nothing to say. There's nothing to see here."

ITV also reported how a spokesman for Downing Street  said he believed the prime minister David Cameron did not have any concerns about the meat he buys, feeling the current system in place is acceptable.

However, according to the Telegraph, Rt Rev Nick Baines - the acting Bishop of Leeds - has backed the leaders' views outlined in the letter, saying that a "more grown-up approach" is needed. 

He goes on to highlight the importance of clear labelling in general, adding: "Clear labelling and clear information is essential so people know what they are eating. That goes much wider than the issues of halal and kosher."

At Fine Cut, we absolutely understand the importance of making sure that your labelling is clear, to the point and tells your customers - be they consumers or other businesses - all they need to know in the right way and in as short a time as possible.

Give our experts a call today to find out how we can help you to realise your labelling objectives, be they involving simpler stick-on paper labels or more hard-wearing adhesive applications.

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