for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

this morning (thursday 6th), 8.03-8.05am on bbc radio 4
today with mishal husain includes statements by john blackwell (president-elect of the british veterinary association) …

“We’re looking for a collective sort of meeting of minds, to review the evidence base that shows quite clearly that slaughtering animals without stunning compromises welfare.
If that can’t happen, and we respect the beliefs of the religious sects, then we would like to see labelling at the point of sale to give the consumer informed choice, and unfortunately if that’s not possible then we would be looking for a ban.”

and jonathan arkush (vice-president of the jewish board of deputies) …

“Animals that are killed for the Jewish and Moslem markets do not bleed to death. Animals that are killed for the general market and the Jewish and Moslem markets are killed in exactly the same way. A large animal has its throat cut, and that renders the animal insensible to pain and unconscious.”

(if you missed it, available from 2:03:45 to 2:05:00 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03wq2p1)

the above 8.03am broadcast presented a very shortened version of jonathan arkush‘s interview, in the original broadcast at 7.18-7.25am …

“I really regret John Blackwell’s remarks, which are completely misleading to your listeners.
Animals that are killed for the Jewish and Moslem markets do not bleed to death.
Animals that are killed for the general market and the Jewish and Moslem markets are killed in exactly the same way. A large animal has its throat cut, and that renders the animal insensible to pain and unconscious.
The Jewish method is designed to bring that process about instantly, and using tendentious language really is unhelpful.
The Jewish religion focuses on the most humane way of bring an animal’s death about. If you eat meat you have to accept that an animal that is live is then killed and the most important thing to do is to do it humanely.
… [halal meat] …
Animal welfare organisations have shown that pre-stunning fails to stun in between 9 and 31 per cent of cases, depending on which animal welfare charity you go to. The RSPCA figure I think is about 9%. When an animal is mis-stunned it suffers enormous pain and distress.
When you eat your chicken from the supermarket you need to know that it’s been carried by an industral conveyor belt and dumped in a bath of electrocuted water. We don’t do that, we wouldn’t do that.

Let’s avoid the pejorative phrase ‘ritual stunning’. There’s no ritual in slaughter of food for animals for the kosher market. On the contrary it’s a humane act designed to bring about the animal’s end very quickly.
If you take the lower end of 9% of animals mis-stunned, the total number of animals who suffer that pain and distress vastly exceeds the whole kosher market by a factor of about 10.
… In Denmark what you had was a political act designed for populist reasons because of prejudice against Muslims. My worry is that Mr Blackwell is going down that road, of speaking in ways that inflame prejudice and ignoring the very real animal welfare issues that cover all the market.”

(if you missed it, available from 1:18:00 to 1:25:00 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03wq2p1)

the BVA has never issued statements saying that kosher slaughter causes animal suffering … it always uses the meaningless phrase “compromises animal welfare
its publicly-available documents, eg http://www.bva.co.uk/public/documents/Briefing_-_Welfare_at_slaughter_Oc…, produce no argument or facts against kosher slaughter other than the words: “Scientific evidence demonstrates that slaughter without pre-stunning compromises animal welfare.”

for Shechita UK’s position, see http://www.shechitauk.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/A_Guide_to_Shechita_…, particularly “What is so wrong with stunning?” on page 8

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