At Mr B's suggestion, we have added the following background information:

The symbol halal means "halal".  Slightly different forms of it are in use, eg halal symbol and halal sign on a menu .
Often, such a symbol is used, on a sign or menu, without the word "halal".

However, rival religious groups interpret the Koran differently and define "halal" differently.  See the link below to the BBC website.

When is halal meat not halal meat ?

Some meat labelled as "halal" is from animals which have been humanely killed.

Mr B comments thus: "I do not wish to become involved in any argument over the interpretation of the Koran.  I want a ban on the cruel practice of cutting animals' throats whilst they are conscious.  In legal terms, I want the religious exemptions in the law on slaughter abolished.  I have no objection to the sale of meat labelled as "halal" if it has been produced entirely in accordance with RSPCA recommendations."

As far as we know, all meat sold as "kosher" is from inhumanely killed animals.  

MEAT FROM ANIMALS KILLED INHUMANELY, UNDER THE RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS, CAN, ANYWHERE IN THE UK, BE LAWFULLY SOLD TO UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS IN APPARENTLY SECULAR SHOPS, RESTAURANTS ETC.  It might be halal or kosher meat, or meat (eg rump steak) not classified under Jewish doctrine as "kosher" but from animals killed by the Jewish method.

It is open to customers to ask questions.

It is also open to the proprietor of any establishment which sells animal products to display a notice as follows, if true and, of course, subject to planning law:

"All animal products sold in this establishment have been produced entirely in accordance with RSPCA recommendations."

(Meat etc. produced under the RSPCA Freedom Food Scheme may not have been produced in accordance with RSPCA recommendations.  Hillside Animal Sanctuary has published evidence of serious neglect on farms in the Scheme.)

Readers should, of course, bear in mind that a company might own many establishments, perhaps in many countries and could display such notices in some of its establishments but not others.      


Last updated 13 September 2011