Letters - Thursday, May 13, 2021
Non-stun slaughter is cruel and inhumane
I was disappointed to read that UCLan had capitulated to the demands of Mr Zuleikha Chikh the president of the Student Union, and agreed to fund free halal food during the month of Ramadan following a petition supported by 400 students after initially refusing the request.
As a nation of animal lovers, I feel certain that I am not simply a lone voice objecting strongly to their decision.
Whilst I accept this is an emotive issue and this traditional slaughter of animals in the halal manner is considered to be an essential ingredient of the Muslim faith, in my opinion it is barbaric, cruel and inhumane.
As an aside, whilst on the subject of faith, many prominent Asian scholars see no issue with stunning, provided that the process does not kill the animal. They argue that the Qur’an only requires that an animal be alive at the time its throat is cut and the holy book makes no reference to stunning.
The British Veterinary Association has called for all animals to be effectively stunned before slaughter, whilst the Farm Animal Council and the EU Food Safety Authority maintains that there is a high probability that the cutting of sensitive tissues at the neck will trigger a significant pain response in a conscious animal.
A barrage of evidence suggests there is a time lapse of 14 seconds for sheep to become insensible following severing of the carotid arteries. For cattle, it is 85 seconds.
Existing European law requires stunning before slaughter but the UK allows an exemption for religious beliefs. I believe we should join Denmark, Switzerland, Slovakia, Norway and Ireland in voting to ban religious slaughter on the grounds that animal rights come before religion.
Questions are being raised in the Commons and the House of Lords on this very topic and the Green Party has included it in its manifesto.
Statistically, 94 million animals suffered needlessly in the UK in 2019 as a result of non-stun slaughter.
In the UK we have a culture and history of compassion towards animals who rely upon us to fight on their behalf and I for one refuse to look the other way as they are tortured. I would invite the university authorities to reconsider their decision and certainly not make it a permanent one. One final point. I also firmly believe all halal meat should be clearly labelled, enabling the customer to make their own choice.
Mask order on bus was clearly wrong
I recently went from Thornton to Cleveleys on the 24 bus with no issues.
I suffer from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)and carry oxygen when out.
I class myself as exempt from wearing a face mask due to my breathing problems.
On the return journey i was asked to wear a mask by the driver. I pointed out that i was exempt due to my disability and was abruptly told “no mask no journey”.
Fortunately my wife had a mask spare so i held that over my nose as due to fatigue I needed to get home.
This clearly is against disability laws as people with certain disabilities can be exempt.
Find out how your best friend can help
I am chuffed to announce that I will be supporting Sue Ryder, the national healthcare charity, in its search for the charity’s first Ambassadogs.
The nationwide competition is the first of its kind and will result in 11 furry friends taking home the coveted title of Sue Ryder Ambassadog, to help support the charity’s patients through pet therapy.
I will be judging the winner alongside fellow pet lovers – actress Carley Stenson, presenter Kaye Adams, author Emily Dean, as well as experts from Sue Ryder and Pets As Therapy.
Sue Ryder’s work is so important, and we all know that pets can be great for our wellbeing. My dog, Clemmie, has certainly helped me through this past year.
Sue Ryder’s patients are either living with a terminal diagnosis or have a complex neurological condition or acquired brain injury. Sue Ryder has seen first-hand how the unconditional love and affection of its canine visitors provides companionship, relieves stress and brings joy to those experiencing the very toughest times.
If you think your dog is heads and tails above the rest, please visit www.sueryder.org.uk/Ambaasadog to apply!
May the best dogs win, good luck!
Presenter and Journalist
House of Lords needs trimming
I hope that Boris Johnson listens and actions the recommendation of Lord McFall about vigorously reducing the number of peers in line with the numbers of MPs in the House of Commons.
The proposed reduction of 200 peers will not affect the scrutinising of the workings of the House of Commons – and why does the House of Lords need four former retired Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police to advise on policing and security?
There should also be an age limit of 75 years.
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