Halal meat banned in school meals
Lancashire children will no longer be served non-stunned halal meat in school as Lancashire councillors have voted to ban it.
The reason behind it is the “abhorrent” and “really cruel” practice of not stunning animals before slaughtering them. This is according to council leader Geoff Driver.
The ban applies for 27 council-run schools which will stop using unstunned halal meat in children’s meals.
Calls for further discussions by Jewish and Muslim groups were rejected.
With Lancashire County Council voting by 41 to 24 against, with 15 abstentions, schools will only serve stunned halal beef and lamb, from December.
Councillor Driver reportedly wanted to show videos of cattle being slaughtered to justify his point but thought it would be too “gory”.
Labour leader, Councillor Azhar Ali had an amendment rejected to defer the halal meat debate until December to give the council time to discuss plans with Jewish and Muslim groups.
Conservative Mr Driver said he believed three councillors who had previously looked at this issue were biased by their faith.
But Muslim Labour Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, said these remarks made him “very unhappy”, causing “offence to him and his faith”.
Mr Driver later apologised, saying he had no intention of causing offence.
Unstunned halal meat is supplied to 12,000 pupils at 27 schools in Blackburn, Clitheroe, Preston, Nelson, Burnley, Rawtenstall and Hyndburn.
The policy will be changed in December, after the current contract with the supplier runs out.