MUSLIMS in Lancashire have reacted with anger to calls to ban halal meat.
John Blackwell, the new president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, has argued that killing animals by cutting their throats causes unnecessary suffering.
The calls also apply to Kosher meat, eaten by people of the Jewish faith.
Traditionally, Jewish and Islamic slaughter practices involve animals having their throats slit and the blood drained because it is believed to be humane.
The call for a ban comes in the wake of a decision by the Danish government to ban the religious slaughter of animals for halal and kosher meat.
Denmark has been accused of religious persecution by Muslims and Jews across the world after the ban was agreed last month.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s today programme, Mr Blackwell said: “Our view has always been that animals should be stunned.
“If that can't happen then I would like labelling at the point of sale that gives the consumer informed choice.
“If that is not possible we would be looking for a ban for killing without stunning.”
Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, condemned Mr Blackwell’s calls.
He said: “That’s not right, we can’t support that.
“To make that call is inhumane in a sense, against our human rights.
“It’s arbitrary saying that stunning has no pain, whereas slaughter has pain. All the neuroscientists will tell you it’s milliseconds different, where conciousness is concerned.
“From a faith perspective we strongly oppose a ban, every Muslim will oppose it, not just most Muslims, every Muslim.”