A controversial proposal to ban unstunned halal meat in Lancashire's schools will come before county councillors next week.
The issue of unstunned halal meet has proved a tricky one for Lancashire County Council, with a previous attempt to ban unstunned meat overturned after threats of legal action by the Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM).
The county council then launched a consultation to gauge people’s views on the issue.
Now – despite 65 per cent of respondents saying they would be strongly against a ban – councillors are again set to vote on the issue.
At a meeting of the council’s cabinet next Thursday (July, 12), councillors will be asked to vote on the motion that: “The county council is considering the proposal that, where halal meat is supplied, this must be stunned.”
County Council leader Geoff Driver said: “We know people have strong views on this issue and I’m grateful that more than 8,500 people have taken the time to respond to the consultation.”
Chairman of the Lancashire Secular Humanists, David Fleming, said: “I’m hugely disappointed but not surprised.
“I would like to see halal unavailable to all but it is politically sensitive.
“The next best option is to stun the animals like the rest of our society does.”
David added: “Evidence shows that animals suffer less when stunned.
“They are still going to die but they should be given as much dignity before that.”
National Secular Society spokesperson, Chris Sloggett, said: “Lancashire County Council should go ahead with its plan to end the supply of non-stun meat to schools.
“Local authorities should be able to place animal welfare and the principle of one law for all ahead of religious sensitivities.
"They shouldn’t allow special interest groups dedicated to defending sectional interests, no matter how vocal and well-organised, to bully them out of reasonable proposals.
“This row also highlights the need for a national solution on this issue. Religious exemptions to laws on animal slaughter should be rescinded, so the decision is taken out of local authorities’ hands.”
The LCM did not respond to the Post when contacted.