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Security warning for MPs over reform of halal and kosher animal slaughter after David Amess killing

MPs who campaign for reform of halal and kosher animal slaughter told to boost their security in the wake of murder of Sir David Amess

  • Some halal and all kosher slaughter does not see animals stunned beforehand
  • Some MPs backing law change told ‘be careful what you say publicly on issue’
  •  Also advised to review their personal security, the Sunday Times reported


MPs backing reform of the law over kosher and halal animal slaughter have been told to boost their security in the wake of the murder of Sir David Amess.

Currently some livestock killed to adhere to religious rules followed by Muslims and Jews is not stunned into unconsciousness beforehand, something some welfare  campaigners want banned.

Now some MPs backing a law change that would limit the number of animals that can be slaughtered in this way have been told they should ‘be careful what you say publicly on this issue’.

They have also been advised to review their personal security, the Sunday Times reported.

It comes after MPs were offered security guards to watch over them when meeting the public under a security review prompted by the murder of Tory Sir David in Southend. 

Currently some livestock killed to adhere to religious rules followed by Muslims and Jews is not stunned into unconsciousness beforehand, something some welfare campaigners want banned.

It comes after MPs were offered security guards to watch over them when meeting the public under a security review prompted by the murder of Tory Sir David in Southend.

It comes after MPs were offered security guards to watch over them when meeting the public under a security review prompted by the murder of Tory Sir David in Southend.

Sir David was a keen animal welfare supporter. Now Tory colleague Chris Loder is planning to lay an amendment to the Kept Animal Bill that would reduce the amount of un-stunned slaughter allowed in the UK.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this minth, Defra minister Victoria Prentis suggested ministers could support the move.

She said: ‘We have to go very sensitively on this. We will go very sensitively on this. It is not the government’s policy. It will be a backbencher amendment.

‘We will have to make sure the rights of different religions to eat the meat they want to eat is still available. 

‘But there are ways of doing that so you slaughter to order. You don’t slaughter unnecessarily large amounts of animals without stunning. 

‘So we are determined if the bill is amended in the way that it might be to have this discussion in a sensitive and grown-up way.’

Halal slaughter includes both stun and non-stun slaughter. The Food Standards Agency saying that some 88 per cent of animals killed in halal slaughterhouses were stunned in a way deemed acceptable to be ‘religiously acceptable’ to many Muslims. 

But not all followers of the religion agree, and Shechita, the kosher method of slaughter, does not stun animals at all. 

Shechita UK’s campaign director, Shimon Cohen, said: ‘We are appalled at reports that MPs have been made aware of security threats when raising issues regarding non-mechanically stunned slaughter. No MP should ever feel threatened or unsafe.

‘This is an important debate, and we are proud of the positive interactions we continue to have with stakeholders with a variety of views, as well as ministers, MPs, peers and officials across the political spectrum. 

‘We will continue to engage in good faith and trust that discussions can remain pragmatic, respectful and, most importantly, safe throughout.’ 

Last week MPs were told they will be able to call on a ‘trained and accredited security operative’ when conducting constituency surgeries after Sir David, 69, was stabbed at one in his Southend West seat. 

MPs were warned in a joint letter by Home Secretary Priti Patel and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle that their safety is at risk from a ‘small minority of hostile individuals’.

The veteran Tory representative for Southend West was killed during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, five years after Labour’s Jo Cox was murdered in a similar scenario.

In a letter first reported by The Times, Sir Lindsay and Ms Patel wrote to MPs acknowledging they will be ‘rightly concerned about their own safety and security, and that of their staff’.

The letter added: ‘The work you carry out can put you at odds with a wide range of ideologies and views and a small minority of hostile individuals may be motivated by grievances which are difficult to detect and whose actions are hard to predict.’

They said a ‘trained and accredited security operative will be available to come to your constituency surgeries’.

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