An MP representing communities in Wharfedale is pressing for compulsory labelling of kosher and halal meat, two years after his last attempt was defeated by just three votes in Parliament.
Conservative MP for the Shipley constituency, Philip Davies, has tabled an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill to ensure compulsory labelling at point of sale, after it emerged millions of consumers are eating the meat unknowingly.
Mr Davies, who represents Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston, said people had a right to know what they were eating. It recently emerged supermarkets and restaurant chains are selling halal meat to millions of customers without telling them.
Animals slaughtered for halal and kosher are not required by law to be stunned prior to slaughter. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) believes all animals should be stunned before slaughter and the RSPCA says not doing so causes ‘unnecessary suffering’.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Davies said: “Two years ago I introduced a ten minute rule bill for compulsory labelling of halal and kosher meat at the point of sale. It was defeated by three votes, voted down largely by the politically correct brigade on the Labour benches.
“As usual I was ahead of my time as Government will appreciate there is now widespread concern about the use of halal and kosher meat that is not labelled among retailers.”
Mr Davies demanded the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, make a statement to MPs on what Government is doing “to make sure consumers can make an informed choice when they are making their purchases.”
It is claimed slaughtering animals in line with Islamic rituals saves money, as the product can be eaten by both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Commons Leader, Andrew Lansley urged Mr Davies to raise the issue in the forthcoming Consumer Rights Bill debate.
Mr Lansley added: “It is very much about something we all believe in, which is giving consumers not only rights but also information on which they can base their purchasing decisions.”
Mr Davies has duly tabled an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill to ensure the compulsory labelling of kosher and halal meat at the point of sale.