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Takeaways should say if their meat is halal, says campaigner
A MAN is calling for all Bournemouth cafes and takeaways to be obliged to say whether their meat is slaughtered by Muslim rules.
Animal rights campaigner Gary Hazel claimed some of the methods used are “very cruel” and people should be able to make an informed choice.
Jewish and Muslim communities are exempt from a law that requires animals to be stunned before their throats are cut.
The RSPCA said that Muslim interpretations differ and sometimes the animals are stunned and sometimes they are not.
Gary Hazel, 37, a chef and publican from Bournemouth town centre, said: “A lot of people confuse the issue with race and religion.
“That’s a distraction. For me, it’s animal cruelty, and the way they slaughtered.”
He spoke out after trying eight different cafes on a night out and finding all served Halal meat.
He then went on a tour of takeaways between Ashley Cross and Boscombe with a vegan friend and after speaking to the staff said he found 41 out of 45 served Halal meat.
Mr Hazel has written to the council and Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns about the issue.
He said: “Bournemouth council could make it a condition of licence that all meat products could be clearly labelled so we could at least make an informed choice about where we spend our money.”
Bournemouth Council said the national law do not oblige takeaways to put up notices saying whether they serve Halal or non Halal meat.
The council does have the power to compel those that advertise Halal meat to prove that it is genuine.
William Mouhana, 35, is the owner of Bournemouth town centre’s Cafe Fresco, which advertises it sells Halal meat.
He said: “I have never had anyone ask if it’s Halal apart from Muslim people.
“If the animal is stunned the blood has not come out and you are eating a dead animal [Carrion]. The blood should come out.
“I think it should be the law you have to say if it is Halal.”
Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer, said: “As far as licensing is concerned we are unable to impose conditions on licences regarding the origins of meat.”
Cllr Dave Smith, the cabinet member for communities, whose portfolio covers licensing, said: “This issue is not a priority for the council at the moment.
“I am sure if customers inquire they would be informed how the meat was prepared.”
The campaign group Compassionate Dorset said: “We believe in protecting animal’s rights to a pain-free death. We are against unstunned Halal and Kosher meat.”
The RSPCA said unstunned animals endure “unnecessary suffering.”
Kellie Storey, 37, self-employed, from Verwood, said: “You just hope that it wasn’t killed cruelly. But I don’t think people worry so much after a night out
Jennifer Anthony, 33, stay at home mum from Wimborne, said: “You’re not told in the supermarket how it is killed and you have already made the choice.”
Tony Quinn, 56, a painter and decorator from Ensbury Park, said: “I think animals should be killed humanely and I have a problem with them not being stunned.”
Tony Shaw, 50, a painter and decorator from Winton, said: “It doesn’t bother me. They all get taken to the slaughterhouse. They get their throats cut anyway.”
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