§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware of the danger to racial harmony if Islamic ritual slaughterhouses are allowed to grow in number and output solely for export to Moslem countries, and whether they will reduce the risk of open hostility to the exploitation of the immunities granted under the United Kingdom Slaughterhouses Acts expressly for the benefit of minority religious communities in this country by urging the local authorities concerned to follow the lead of the Belfast City Council who have banned export orders unless the animals are stunned before they are killed.
The Government are aware of the views of those who are opposed to ritual slaughter. Parliamentary debates have always been inconclusive on the question of possible suffering arising from different slaughter methods and Parliament has accordingly taken the view that, in the interests of religious tolerance, ritual slaughter should be permitted, subject to certain conditions. The Government have no plans to take the action suggested in respect of local authorities.