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Britain's top vet said that UK abattoirs could follow the Danish meat industry in banning the killing of animals that are not stunned prior to death because current halal and kosher meat practices result in "five or six seconds" of pain for the animal.
John Blackwell, president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, told The Times: "The Danish unilateral banning [was done] purely for animal welfare reasons, which is right. We may well have to go down that route."
He said that the issue was "one of the most important on our (vets') radar."
Halal and kosher meat could be banned in Britain unless the religious slaughter of animals is made more humane, the leader of Britain's vets has said.
John Blackwell, president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, said the religious customs associated with killing sheep and cattle caused unnecessary suffering to animals.
Jewish and Islamic slaughter practices traditionally involve animals having their throats slit and the blood drained.
In an interview with The Times (£), Mr Blackwell suggested stunning the animals so that they are unconscious before the fatal cut is made.