TIVERTON MP Neil Parish has published a report into Meat Slaughtered in Accordance with Religious Rites.

The report follows an extensive inquiry in which evidence from a wide range of stakeholders from industry experts, Shechita UK, the Halal Food Authority, veterinary professionals as well as the Farming Minister George Eustice and the European Commission.

The report identifies several areas where greater research is needed - such as on the measurement of pain in animals at the time of slaughter and in demonstrating the recoverability of certain stunning methods to reassure religious communities that they are compatible with their religious requirements.

European law currently requires that all animals are stunned prior to slaughter.

Neil Parish said: “When the Group decided to conduct an inquiry into the welfare of animals slaughtered in accordance with Religious Rites I knew we were entering into an area of public discourse that has been highly polarised, often poorly understood and discussions in the media have often produced more heat than light. I hope our offering provides more of the latter.

“There are no easy solutions to what is legally, scientifically and culturally a very complicated set of circumstances but given the legitimate concerns of the public, animal welfare organisations and religious communities it is a debate worth having in a calm and transparent way.”