• The banning of Shechita

    • Leeds Jewish Community
    • date: 05-03-2014
    • Publish by: Susie

    The Leeds Jewish Representative Council's response to a comment made today by John Blackwell, head of the British Veterinary Association, in an interview about the slaughter of animals and the proposed banning of Shechita. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26463064)

    Simon Jackson (LJRC President)'s response: 

    "There is no scientific evidence to my knowledge, confirming the proposition that stunning animals before slaughter is more or less humane, or creates more or less pain for the animal than through Shechita (the Jewish preparation/killing of animals) which is itself a highly skilled operation. So Mr Blackwell’s article is founded on pure supposition. Furthermore the evidence suggests that stunning only works c 75% of the time and the animals on the whole in those circumstances suffer more. 

    If one accepted the views espoused by Mr Blackwell then with a greater degree of certainty the Legislature should also ban all kinds activities ,sporting and other activities including but not limited to all types of shooting (grouse etc) ,fox hunting and a plethora of other activities undertaken in the UK concerning the welfare of animals generally , not just at the time of slaughter. 

    The comments made, strike me as a back door method of trying to expel Jews and Muslims from the UK. It seems to me that Mr Blackwell has no understanding of religion , because if he did he would understand the inextricable relationship of ritual preparation of meat to both the Jewish and Muslim communities. Does he understand tolerance?

    The UK is a hugely tolerant society of all religions and ethnic minorities and the proposal made would be a restriction on freedom to practice one’s religion, as without the ability to prepare meat in this way (if it was banned in this country) the Government would be effectively denying individuals their human rights and preventing orthodox Jews and observant Muslims from living and working in the UK

    I suspect Mr Blackwell has very little or no understanding of the Jewish and Muslims cultures and their religious beliefs and comes at this issue from a rather narrow perspective having failed to understand fully the wider issues.

    Simon Jackson
    President of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council

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