Halal labelling could inflame prejudice, vets warn

Religious leaders recently called for clearer labelling. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Labelling meat as halal or kosher will do nothing to improve animal welfare but could cause confusion and inflame prejudice, vets have warned as they urge political party leaders not to allow the issue to be "hijacked".

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) appealed instead for consumers to be informed whether or not animals had been stunned before being killed by whatever method, insisting the controversy had nothing to do with religion.

In an open letter to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, BVA president and veterinary surgeon Robin Hargreaves called on them to "move the discussion away" from ritual slaughter.