Police and Trading Standards continue halal meat probe

By John Wood

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Birmingham

Police and Trading Standards are continuing to investigate the labelling of halal meat
Police and Trading Standards are continuing to investigate the labelling of halal meat
Birmingham City Council is considering whether to press charges after officers carried out raids on halal meat wholesalers last month.

In a written statement, it told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Investigations are ongoing in relation to all the premises visited with a view to determining if offences have been commited.”

The council confirmed that hundreds of chickens, computer equipment and documents had been seized during the raids last month.

The raids were carried out by Trading Standards and environmental health officers, supported by West Midlands Police, after surveillance of meat transactions in the city.

West Midlands Police

Last week a council spokesman said the “visits”​ were conducted to ensure compliance with legal requirements, to ensure that all meat was traceable and that consumers were not misled in any way about the products they were buying.

Asked whether any further visits to Halal meat traders or other food traders were planned to check on labelling or marketing the council replied: “We continually carry out checks at all food outlets throughout Birmingham to ensure compliance with all legislation, including labelling and marketing.”

Last week the council also emphasised that the visits to specific wholesale premises did not mean that Muslim consumers should not purchase their meat from these businesses.

A spokesman said: “The action by Birmingham City Council is part of a wider exercise to ensure all communities within Birmingham are supplied with food that is properly labelled and marketed, in order that it meets their requirements.

Appropriate checks

“When considering whether meat is Halal, officers carry out appropriate checks to satisfy themselves that the claim is justified. This would include reviewing labels, supplier details, markings and any certification or approval.”

To read more about the investigations, click here​.

Meanwhile the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is planning a public consultation on the protection of animals at slaughter this autumn.

A DEFRA spokeswoman said a launch date had yet to be agreed.

While the government is known to oppose the slaughter of animals without stunning, it promised to respect the wishes of faith groups.

To read more on the government’s views about the religious slaughter of animals, click here​.

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