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‘THE Government have no plans at all to ban religious slaughter. My right honourable Friend the Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that there is no intention to ban religious slaughter. However, everyone agrees that we need good enforcement of our existing legislation.’
So said George Eustice, parliamentary undersecretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, at the end of a debate in Parliament last week on the issue of non-stun slaughter.
The debate, in Westminster Hall on February 23, had been tabled by the Backbench Business Committee after a government e-petition calling for an end to non-stun slaughter on animal welfare grounds, initiated by the BVA and the RSPCA, achieved 100,000 signatures.
Opening the debate, Philip Hollobone, the Conservative MP for Kettering, noted that the issue of non-stun slaughter was contentious, but hoped that the debate would generate ‘more light than heat’. He referred to a recent YouGov poll commissioned by the RSPCA which, he reported, indicated that 77 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the practice of non-stun slaughter should be banned, with no exceptions. However, the same survey had also indicated that there was a great deal of confusion about non-stun …