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.
Test results show pork was present in a sample of halal chicken sausages which may have been supplied to 19 schools and nurseries. A further sample of non-halal lean mince beef shows that pork and lamb was present, potentially affecting 17 schools and nurseries
Schools serving halal chicken sausages:
- All Souls
- Churchill Gardens
- College Park
- Edward Wilson
- George Eliot
- Millbank Academy
- Paddington Green
- Queen's Park
- St Augustine's CE
- St Barnbas CE
- St Peters CE
- Mary Paterson Nursery
- Portman Childhood Centre
Schools serving halal chicken sausages and non halal lean mince beef:
- St. Mary’s Bryanston Square
Schools serving non halal lean mince beef:
- Barrow Hill
- Burdett Coutts
- Hampden Gurney
- Our Lady of Dolours
- QE II
- St Clement Danes
- St Edwards
- St Gabriel’s
- St George’s
- St James & St Michael’s school
- St James & St Michael’s nursery
- St Joseph’s
- St Mary Magdalene
- St Matthews
- St Vincent de Paul
- Westminster Cathedral
- Tachbrook Nursery
Westminster City Council has named the school, where Halal chicken sausages were found to contain pork DNA, as St Mary's Bryanston Square, a Church of England school in west London.
Nigel J Tottman, the managing director of butchers Nigel Fredericks, said it had sourced the sausages from Brook Farm Sausages. From Nigel Fredericks, the sausages were supplied to catering company Chartwells and then the school.
"We have used Brook Farm Sausages for many years, and can only think that this was an isolated incident involving some element of human error," Mr Tottman said.
"We are currently investigating the cause of this unfortunate and regrettable incident as a matter of utmost priority, together with Compass UK and Brook Farm Sausages.
"We are very sorry that we have had a product come through our supply chain that has failed to meet the high standards we and our customers expect, and extend our apologies to any person who has potentially eaten this product."
Food labelled Halal found to contain pork is "totally unacceptable", the Department for Environment, Food and Rural (Defra) has said today. A Defra spokesman said:
Westminster City Council has recently discovered traces of pork DNA contained in a Halal-labelled chicken sausage product, a spokesman for catering provider Chartwells said today. The spokesman added:
A statement issued by the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre welcomes West Minster City Council "swift response" following the discovery of pork DNA in Halal sausages, but says it is concerned there will now be issues of trust between Muslim parents and schools.
The Halal chicken sausages found to contained Pork DNA were a menu choice in:
- 15 primary schools
- Two nurseries
- One special school
- One pupil referral unit
The lean minced beef found to have traces of lamb and pork was used in 18 schools.
The authority has launched its own investigation to establish how the contamination arose.
Pork DNA has been found in Halal chicken sausages that have been served in at least one primary school, Westminster Council has announced.
Other tests revealed that lean minced beef supplied to the council showed evidence of lamb and pork DNA.
The council said it immediately ensured both items were removed from all school menus and had instructed its contractor to temporarily cease supplying meat until the issue was resolved.