Friday, 8 July 2011
The EU parliament passed sweeping new food labelling legislation two days ago.
However there’s one deeply disappointing aspect of the new European legislation: the amendment which would have introduced compulsory labelling of meat and meat products from animals slaughtered without stunning was withdrawn at the last minute. This means that the current situation will remain unchanged: meat from animals slaughtered without stunning will continue to enter the mainstream food chain without being labelled, depriving consumers of their right to make an informed choice on animal welfare grounds.


According to the speech made by the Conservative MEP, Struan Stevenson, the compromise arrived at was based on a promise from EU Commissioner Dalli to bring forward separate legislation dealing with the labelling of 'religiously slaughtered' meat later.
Madam President, I am glad that the Council, the Commission and Parliament reached a consensus on this. We had widely divergent positions but it would have been a shame to see these three years of work, for which we have to congratulate Renate Sommer, going down the drain the same way as the novel foods bill went down the drain.

Let me pick up on the point that Commissioner Dalli raised in his opening remarks about the animals that are slaughtered without pre-stunning, under the derogation on religious grounds for the Schechitah Jewish method of slaughter and Halal. This, as we all know, has been widely abused. The derogation has been abused, so that many millions of animals are being slaughtered in this way now and the meat products from those animals are finding their way into the general food chain. We felt very strongly that the consumers in Europe have a right to know when they are buying those products. I am glad to hear Mr Dalli say that he will now produce a strong animal welfare draft regulation that covers this issue. This House expects nothing less.



Johnny Rottenborough said...

Well said, Struan Stevenson. For Tory MEP Sajjad Karim’s less than enlightened attitude to animal welfare see his website.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

"Defending the right to religious slaughter". His definition of defending is not to allow the dhimmis to know what they are consuming, because no one (unfortunately) was proposing a ban on religious slaughter. They just wanted meat from that source to be properly labelled.

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