AHDB Beef & Lamb has launched a new video designed to set the record straight on the realities of halal slaughter.

The video, revealed exclusively by The Grocer today (8 July), would help educate consumers on the emotive issue of halal slaughter, which is hugely misunderstood in the UK, said the levy board’s head of supply chain and business development Phil Hadley.

The video shows the entire sheep slaughter process using stunning, non-stunning and post-cut stunning methods so consumers can see the reality of each and make an informed decision.

“If people want to learn more about halal slaughter, the videos they will find on YouTube are not reflective of what it looks like in most abattoirs across the UK,” Hadley said.

“So we have filmed genuine footage, using an animation effect over the slaughter scenes to make them less graphic while still giving a clear and informative view of what is going on.”

Those who oppose halal slaughter in the UK claim it is a brutal process where animal welfare is given little consideration, but this “couldn’t be further from the truth” claimed Hadley.

“From a halal consumers’ point of view, welfare - not only at the point of slaughter but also through the whole production of the animal - is a key area of concern,” he said. “Even in a non-stun situation, welfare is still high on the agenda because respect for animals is one of the key tenets of the religious aspects of meat consumption.”

Brits have also been misled by claims that all halal meat is from animals slaughtered without prior stunning, Hadley added.

“The biggest myth around halal is that it always means non-stun, but current figures suggest 63% of sheep slaughtered for halal meat in the UK are stunned, with only 37% non-stunned,” he said.

With stunned halal meat accounting for around 30% of the UK’s total sheep output, and non-stunned meat a further 15%, it is important there is better education around these issues, Hadley said.

Rising demand for halal sheepmeat in the UK and abroad means it is an increasingly important sector of the British sheep industry, he added.