Sharia Halal Board issues response to BVA
Published:  14 March, 2014

The Sharia Halal Board (SHB) has hit back at comments made by the president-elect of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) John Blackwell, regarding the morality of non-stun slaughter, calling them confusing to Muslims and Jews.

Blackwell told The Times that the government should consider following Denmark’s lead and banning the practice on the basis that it caused unnecessary suffering to animals.

The comments have prompted a widespread outcry from the Muslim community that it infridges their rights to honour their religious beliefs.

The Association of Non-Stun Abattoirs (ANSA) stating that it deplored the stance taken by Blackwell and the BVA, and likened its stance to that of the British National Party and English Defense league.

The SHB held a press conference following the comments made by Blackwell. Speaking at the conference, Allama Qazi Abdul Aziz Chishti, senior scholar and board member, said: “The recent comments made by Mr Blackwell are not only offensive to Muslims and Jews but are also rather confusing. Either he is unaware of the government’s new stance on stunning or he is not being told the full story.”

He claimed that on the one hand the country’s leading vet is calling for a stop to ritual slaughter, and on the other Defra has been “forcing all those who currently use the stunning methods to stop using them due to new higher voltage levels”.

Professor Ahmed Tirmizi, senior scholar and panel member, added: “Anyone concerned about the new stunning laws is being told by Defra if they are not happy with the new stunning parameters, then they should start using the ritual slaughter method. This is clear hypocrisy of the highest order.”

He called for Blackwell to express his thoughts on this matter.

The SHB claimed it had written to Defra several times, but had simply been told that if they were not happy to use the new parameters on stunning then they should opt to use the non-stun ritual slaughter method.

Saraj Murtaza, senior consultant, said: “As a Muslim board, who have a good understanding of the Halal sector, even we are confused as to what stance the government is taking and why it’s taking these stances.”