If anyone felt that something was ‘strange about the night’ regarding UKIP, one only has to read the absolute mess that they have got themselves into regarding policy on Halal and Schehita food.
The Daily Mail has reported that UKIP is the first party to back a ban on religious slaughter and UKIP said that it was:
“about time someone stood up for the rights of the silent majority in the ethical treatment of animals instead of bowing down to those who shout the loudest.”
This coming after a drive from UKIP to reach out to Jewish communities. Yet, interestingly, the Party’s Agriculture Spokesperson, MEP Stuart Agnew stated to the Jewish Chronicle that,
“This isn’t aimed at you – it’s aimed elsewhere – it’s aimed at others. You’ve been caught in the crossfire; collateral damage. You know what I mean.”
What Stuart Agnew is saying is that this policy is meant to be targeted against Muslims, yet it seems that the Party’s Agriculture Spokesperson does not realise that the vast majority of Halal meat is pre-stunned. In fact, we have highlighted in detail, the current position regarding the pre-stunning of meat material that finds it way into the Halal market. For example, for some Muslims, pre-stunning is acceptable if the blow does not kill. Research found that 75% of cattle, 93% of sheep and 100% of chickens slaughtered in the UK for Halal meat were pre-stunned before slaughter. Other research points to a similar conclusion. But the Halal Monitoring Committee rejects pre-stunning.
So exactly what has the UKIP agriculture spokesperson brought forward through his discussions with the Jewish Chronicle? That UKIP policy was meant to target Muslims and unfortunately Jews have become the ‘collateral damage’ (his words) in the policy making process.
The feelings of Jewish communities are well summed up in these tweets by the Political Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Marcus Dysch, and the Editor of the JC, Steven Pollard: