BBC bias: Charlotte Smith of Farming Today presents a completely one-sided criticism of shechita (treating it as indisputable as global warming), interviewing spokesmen from both Compassion in World Farming and the British Veterinary Association, with no opposing view even being mentioned.
this morning (saturday 24th), 6.40-6.41am, and 6.43-6.45am, on bbc radio 4
farming today (presented by charlotte smith) includes …
“We believe that all animals should be properly stunned, so we would like to see a ban on religious slaughter without stunning. But let’s also be aware that ordinary so-called humane slaughter often is going badly wrong.”
including contributions from …
• peter stevenson, lawyer, compassion in world farming
• john fishwick, president, british veterinary association
monday 13th march 2013, 4.30-5.00pm, on bbc radio 4
animals (presented by ernie rea) (in the beyond belief series)
”The place of animals in the religions of East and West.”
wth guests …
• shimon cohen, director of shechita uk, an organisation which defends the jewish method of slaughtering animals for food
“There is no ritual whatever in shechita”
• barbara gardner, a trustee of the rspca and author of the compassionate animal
• shaunaka rishi das, a vaisnav priest from the oxford centre of hindu studies
last friday morning (13th april), 5.45-5.50am, and yesterday morning (saturday 14th), 6.52-6.55am, on bbc radio 4
farming today (presented by caz graham and sybil ruscoe) leads with …
“As part of our investigation into food labelling this week we examine the case for and against labelling whether meat has been stunned or not before slaughter.”
including contributions from …
• john fishwick, president of the british veterinary association
• shimon cohen, of shechita uk
(Cohen, 0:03:45) “What they want to do is try to mislead the consumer into believing that animals that are stunned somehow undergo a gentle medicinal woozy-type stunning that sends them gently off to sleep so that they can then be dispatched in a painless manner. Now, that is so far from the truth as to be laughable.”
• liz bowles of the soil association and labelling matters
• david swales of the agriculture and horticulture development board
(see also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31411219)
yesterday afternoon (tuesday 17th), 12.42-12.44pm, on bbc 2
daily politics (presented by jo coburn) includes ukip leader nigel farage supporting shechita and talking about the judeo-christian principles of the british constitution (more…)
friday 17th january 2014, 1.05-6.00am, on bbc parliament tv (freeview channel 81)
question for short debate:
“To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the ethical, legal and religious factors that influence the way in which some animals are slaughtered in the United Kingdom.”
full transcript available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140116-g… (more…)
friday evening (7th march), 8.00-8.50pm on bbc radio 4
any questions with jonathan dimbleby, danny alexander mp, stephen dorrell mp, caroline flint mp, and louise bours includes “should religious views override animal welfare?
Louise Bours (UKIP)
: “To eat meat, we have to kill livestock, they have to be killed in as humane a way as possibly can be, do we want to stun an animal before we kill the animal, or do we go with the moslem and jewish communities who believe that ritual slaughter is actually the most humane way?
I don’t think it’s something we can really legislate either for or against at all …
So what I would like to see is a choice for people: if we label things correctly, maybe then people can choose how their meat was dealt with when it was slaughtered, halal or non-halal: i think that is the way to go.” (more…)
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