'Cruel': Under the halal method, animals are slaughtered by being slashed across the neck without being stunned
Masood Khawaja, of the Halal Food Authority, said: 'It is commendable for schools to provide halal meats but there must be an alternative for non-Muslims.An 'alternative' for non-Muslims ~ how about an alternative for Muslims!!
There are some reports that Sikhs don't eat halal.
Really crazy!! This whole thing is being rammed down everyone's throats!
Parents have expressed fury at plans to serve pupils halal-only menus for school dinners.
In a move which has also enraged animal welfare groups, only meat from animals killed and prepared using Islamic teaching will be allowed at 52 primaries in Harrow.
Critics say the plan puts the needs of Muslim children before those of other faiths, while parents say they have not been consulted over the scheme.
Schools are free to opt in to the programme or look elsewhere for their meals from the start of next month, according to Harrow Council.
The local authority is thought to be the first in England to insist on a halal-only menu apparently after recommendations of dietitians.
According to the 2001 Census, Harrow is one of the most religiously diverse areas in Britain with fewer than 50 per cent of the population Christian, a fifth Hindu and 7 per cent Jewish.
Using the halal method, animals are slaughtered by being slashed across the neck and being left so that the blood drains from the carcass.
The religious ritual, which does not allow the animals to be stunned beforehand, is considered cruel by campaigners and is exempt from animal welfare laws.
Harrow resident Sheila Murphy said: 'I am appalled at Harrow Council’s decision to serve only Halal meat in the borough’s schools.
'The Farm Animal Welfare Council has lobbied the government in the past to get the Kosher and Halal method of slaughter banned.
'The Halal method, in which animals are slaughtered by a single slit to the throat, is the only way of killing livestock allowed under Islam but this method is deemed cruel by some animal-lovers, who object to the slow death it involves.
'Harrow Council’s decision is also taking away the choice of children and their parents over what meat they eat and I urge Harrow residents to make their views known to Harrow Council and get this decision overturned.'
The council will be using its preferred supplier, Harrison's, which has been providing halal-only menus to Harrow's high schools for four years after a decision reached by a consortium.
Masood Khawaja, of the Halal Food Authority, said: 'It is commendable for schools to provide halal meats but there must be an alternative for non-Muslims.
'Some people are opposed to halal and kosher meat on animal welfare grounds and they should be given the choice not to eat it.'
A council spokesman said: 'Halal meat was written into the specifications when high schools were procuring their catering contracts.
'This was due to recommendations from dietitians.'
However, the local authority admitted that the plans to expand the scheme into primary schools is on hold until autumn after complaints from parents.