SIR – Yet again, religious slaughter is in the headlines. If two chickens reared in exactly the same conditions are both electrocuted until they are unconscious and then one goes into an enormous machine which scalds, feathers and decapitates it, while the other goes to a Muslim who happens to be reciting a prayer, why are critics quite content with the former but up in arms about the latter?

Consumers should be informed whether an animal has been mechanically stunned prior to slaughter and whether it has endured repeat stuns if the first attempt was ineffective.

They should also be told the method of slaughter: captive bolt shooting, gassing, electrocution, drowning, trapping, clubbing or any of the other approved methods.

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.

Henry Grunwald
Chairman, Shechita UK
Dr Shuja Shafi
Deputy Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Letter to the Editor, 8th May 2014