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European Parliament Votes To Label Kosher Slaughter 'Unstunned'

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TEHRAN, May 5 (ICANA) – The European Parliament in Brussels last week voted through an amendment to a new European Union food-labeling bill that would require animals not stunned before being slaughtered to be labeled on food packaging.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 10:47:58 PM
European Parliament Votes To Label Kosher Slaughter 'Unstunned'

The Environmental and Consumer Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted through the amendment necessitating kosher meat to be labeled "un-stunned before slaughter."

The amendment was carried by a slim majority of 34 to 28.

Following intensive lobbying by community campaign group Shechita UK, many of the main groups in the parliament allowed a free vote—but the amendment was carried on the back of Socialist bloc votes, led by the group's UK Labor Party MEPs.

The regulation on the provision of food information to consumers will now be voted on by the entire parliament at the second reading in July. Last year the same amendment was carried at first reading by a majority of 56.

"The fight to stop this amendment is far from over," said Shechita UK's chairman, Henry Grunwald. "In recent months we have highlighted to a number of MEPs that this amendment does nothing to improve animal welfare, fails to fully inform consumers and is clearly discriminatory by design—and most have now chosen to reject it.

"We have received widespread support from many of the parliamentary groups, and we will be working hard between now and July to give more MEPs a better understanding of the underlying issues," he added.

Grunwald said he is hopeful the European Council will reject the parliament's decision in discussions set to begin next month.

"We have communicated our position to the European Council who rejected the amendment after the first reading, and thus we are hopeful that the Council will again reject the Parliament's position in negotiations, which will begin informally in May," Grunwald added.

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