Thank you for contacting me about religious slaughter and the labelling of meat and dairy products.
I understand the depth of your feeling on this issue. As you are probably aware, there are long-standing provisions in UK law that, subject to specific requirements, permit the slaughter of animals without prior stunning to meet Jewish and Islamic religious requirements.
Although I would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter, I recognise the requirements of Jewish and Muslim communities and accept the importance they attach to slaughter in accordance with their beliefs.
On labelling specifically, there is no national or EU requirement to display the method of slaughter on meat products but where this is included it must be accurate. Consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice about their food, and this is something that the Government will be able to consider in the context of leaving the EU.
As a Government Whip, I cannot, by convention, sign EDMs as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code’s rules on collective responsibility. This is, of course, an issue that needs careful consideration and debate.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP