Schechita Debate: British lawmaker Neil Parish says a new study suggests animals that are stunned can still be slaughtered in a religiously correct manner. Kosher experts aren’t so sure.

British Lawmaker Says Stunning Animals May Be Kosher

A British lawmaker who advises the government on meat production said he hoped to prove to Jews and Muslims that slaughtering with the stunning method is ultimately compatible with their faiths.

Neil Parish, who heads the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb, was quoted by the news site Jewishnews.co.uk on Thursday as saying: “If it can be scientifically established that stunning does not adversely affect blood loss then we reassure consumers of religiously slaughtered meat that stunning is compatible with their faith.”

Parish was commenting on a new report which suggested that meat from animals that were stunned before their necks were cut did not contain any more blood than the meat of animals that did not receive stunning prior to undergoing the same method of slaughter.

Religious laws in Judaism and Islam allow followers of those religions to eat the meat only of animals that were conscious when their necks were cut. In addition, Jewish religious law, or halacha, requires the removal of blood from the body of the animals prior to consumption and forbids the consumption of animals’ blood.

But Shimon Cohen, a spokesperson for the Shechita UK Jewish lobby group, dismissed Parish’s logic as flawed, saying resistance to stunning does not stem from the prohibition on the consumption of blood.

“The community has never contended that there is less blood in a carcass following shechita than following conventional mechanical slaughter,” Cohen told Jewishnews.co.uk, using the Hebrew word for ritual slaughter.“Shechita is not carried out to facilitate the fastest and most effective blood loss. It is practised because it is religiously mandated.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

British Lawmaker Says Stunning Animals May Be Kosher

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close