Source: The Economist
IT IS hard to imagine such a sizzling political issue, one that connects the welfare of children and animals with clashing notions of religious freedom, and even with Brexit. The issue is the religiously sanctioned killing of animals, and it also includes the supply to schools of meat that has been slaughtered according to ancient precepts of faith.
The issue arises because for traditionally minded Jews and Muslims it is a matter of principle that animals slain for meat should be dispatched by a single swipe of a sharp knife, one that drains the blood and causes a rapid death. The death is not rapid enough for many animal-rights advocates, though. Some Muslims accept that the animal can be stunned before slaughter (as is considered humane in most Western countries), so long as death still results from blood loss. Other Muslims feel unable to make that concession.
In several different ways, controversy over this matter is heating up in pre-Brexit Britain. It also happens to be raging in Belgium. In recent weeks, the issue has been highlighted by a study by Britain’s National Secular Society (NSS), which campaigns for an end to the special treatment of religions. The NSS found that at least 17 councils across Britain are supplying non-stunned meat to a total of 140 or more schools, in deference to conservative Muslim parents.