Letter to Lancashire Council re Animal Stunning

Councillor G Driver CBE

Lancashire County Council 
PO Box 78 County Hall 

16 October 2018

Dear Councillor Driver

 We are writing to you in relation to your proposal to forbid the serving of meat which has not been pre-stunned within the schools of Lancashire County Council.

We understand that you have stated that this decision is based purely relating to animal welfare issues.

We would point out that there are various religions including the Jewish community, which we represent, who strongly advocate for the welfare of animals as part of their religious beliefs but at the same time use slaughter methods that exclude the pre-stunning of animals. 

Dr Temple Grandin found that the animals suffered no greater pain in situations where they were killed using religious slaughter methods than under stunning. There is evidence that they are only paralysed, and thus prevented from displaying their pain. Furthermore when the captive bolt or electrical shock methods fail, as they do in a significant percentage of cases, it causes considerable additional suffering and distress to the animal. In such cases, the conscious animal is in acute pain as the captive bolt gun is reloaded and fired, or the electrical tongs reapplied to re-stun the animal. 

But the far more important issue and the one that concerned Parliament when they debated this matter in February 2015 was not the last few seconds of the animal’s life as it was slaughtered but how it was treated in the hours and days leading up to that point. Parliament felt that it was unable to introduce standards regarding that and consequently felt that introducing legislation with regard to non-stunned slaughter would be both prejudicial and ineffective as far as improving animal welfare went.

We therefore ask that due to the fact that the measures that you’re proposing will not improve animal welfare, but will lead to significant hardship to your Muslim community as your own research findings show, that you withdraw the proposed measures and wait until the government introduces a proper system for identifying the suffering that animals go through during the “whole” slaughter process and then if appropriate consider measures at that point.

 Thanking you for your understanding in relation to this matter and we trust that you will withdraw this item from the agenda.

Yours Faithfully

Jacky Buchsbaum

Chair of Executive


This letter is supported by the following organisations:-

Leeds Jewish Representative Council,

Lancaster & Lakes Jewish Community