The Present State Of British Law With Reference To Animal Slaughter For Food
THE Slaughter of Animals Act, 1933, provides that all animals slaughtered for the food of man shall die by stunning with a mechanically-operated instrument; but with three important exceptions viz.: —
(I) Pigs, when no electric power is available, whereby these animals are stunned, without detriment to the carcass, by means of an electric shock.
(2) Sheep, unless the Local Authority protects them by providing in its Bye-laws that they must be stunned.
(3) All animals killed for the food of Jews or Mahomedans.
There is no real excuse for any of these prohibitions.
The many societies that exist for the protection of animals from cruelty have had a very long and hard fight to arrive even at the unsatisfactory stage in which the 1933 Act leaves us; they have had tremendous opposition from the trade, and the British people have no reason to be proud of their indifference and inaction in face of the fact that sheep, in particular, have been, and often still are, subject to a shockingly dirty death at the hands of the butcher. Nevertheless, the slaughter of cattle has at last been made humane where Gentile food is concerned.
Why, in a country calling itself Christian, and with a population Aryan or of Aryan strain, should Jews and Mahomedans be allowed to kill their cattle by methods less humane than those we ourselves have adopted?
It is of course necessary that all animals killed for human food should be thoroughly well bled, and this is done by cutting the throat, so that the heart itself pumps the blood from the animal before it stops beating.