Asda Criticised Over Plans For Sale Of Halal Meat

Supermarket chain Asda has come under fire from animal rights activists for its decision to stock and sell Halal meat .
Campaigners have expressed their anger at the decision by the retailer to put the meat, which is from animals that have not been stunned before their throats are cut, on sale for the first time next month.
Britain’s second largest supermarket group admitted that its move would be controversial but said it was being tested in a Birmingham store in response to strong customer demand.
An Asda spokesman said the meat would only be sold through a third-party concession at its Smallheath store in South Birmingham and would therefore not be labeled as an Asda own-brand .
“It is not being run by us, its being run by the National Halal Food Group which sells the Mr Halal brand,” the spokesman said.
“It’s just a trial in a single store . The reason it’s there is because of customer demands in that area. Similar demands have not been made elsewhere.”
Chief executive of the National Halal Food Group, Muhammed Yaqoob, defended the traditional method of not pre-stunning the animal, claiming the animal suffered less than those that had been stunned.
But Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva) was quick to condemn the decision by Asda .
“We carried out research a few years ago that indicated that most Muslims were happy to eat stunned Halal meat,” commented Viva associate director Tony Wardle.
“I am not advocating the stunning method per se, but when used properly the captive bolt pistol is without doubt the lesser of two horrible evils,” he added.
The RSPCA also expressed their disappointment at the move by Asda and stated that there were many Muslim countries that accepted pre-stunned Halal meat .

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