More than 4,000 people have signed a local petition demanding an end to schools serving Sharia
law-compliant “non-stun” halal meat “without the knowledge or consent of the majority of pupils and parents”.
In October, a Freedom of Information request by the National Secular Society found Kirklees Council
supplied the halal meat to 40 schools with thousands of pupils, many of whom are not Muslim.
A Kirklees Council spokesman has previously insisted its school meals policy was “kept under
review” and was developed following consultation with parents, children, and representatives of the
“In some schools all of the meat served is non-stunned and there is no alternative option for pupils,” the petition reads.
“The council has refused to say which schools are affected. There is no need for the council to supply non-stunned halal meat when the majority of halal meat is pre-stunned.”
Earlier this month, Lancashire County Council voted to stop serving most non-stunned meat by an
The move came after a long political battle in the area including calls by Muslim groups for boycotts
and threats of a judicial review when the council first attempted to ban non-stun meat in 2017.
Research released last month by the National Secular Society (NSS) showed around 18 councils
across the UK are supplying at least 140 schools with non-stunned meat – most of which are not
Islamic faith schools.
Othe local authorities found to “supply meat to large numbers of schools, meaning thousands of
pupils may be eating it” included West Yorkshire, Luton Borough Council, Bolton Council, and
The NSS said that “too many councils had bowed to a hardline interpretation of Islam” demanding
the government repeal the religious exemption to animal welfare laws.
An outright ban on “non-stun” meat could also affect Jewish communities who eat Kosher meat,
some of which is also not stunned before killing.
However, the United Kingdom has not seen prominent cases of non-Jewish children being served Kosher meat without their knowledge, and the petition merely calls for parents and children to be notified and given the option not to consume the meat.
Most animal rights groups are against “non-stun” meat, with the RSPCA saying: “For slaughter to be
humane, it’s essential that animals are effectively stunned.”
The British Veterinary Association, representing 17,000 British vets, believes that “all animals should
be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain,” arguing scientific evidence supports
They have called for exports of the non-stun meat to be recorded after the government signed a deal with Saudi Arabia and the proportion of animals not being stunned before slaughter in the UK surged in just a few years.
EDIT: This petition passed the 100,000 mark and was handed in to 10, Downing Street.
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