Constituents have been contacting me recently about the Compassion in World Farming campaign on labelling for meat and dairy products and Early Day Motion 1527. As a Government Minister I cannot, by Parliamentary convention, sign EDMs but I do understand the depth of feeling on this issue.
Although I would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter, I recognise the requirements of Jewish and Muslim communities and accept the importance they attach to slaughter in accordance with their beliefs. However, I am determined to ensure that religious slaughter is only carried out by licensed slaughtermen in approved or regulated slaughterhouses. Slaughter is not, and must not be, permitted in any other place, even for personal consumption.
Whilst there is no national or EU requirement to display the method of slaughter on meat products, where this is included it must be accurate. Consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice about their food, and this is something that the Government will be able to consider in the context of leaving the EU.