LANCASHIRE – Thousands of Muslim families are set to boycott school meals in Lancashire after its council became the first to ban halal meat from unstunned animals.
The decision is expected after the county council voted on Thursday to ban halal meat from suppliers, The Daily Mail reported on Friday, October 27.
The ban, proposed by Conservative leader Geoff Driver, passed after councilors voted 41 for the ban, 24 against and 15 absentees.
Abdul Qureshi, chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, had said last month that Muslims would boycott school meals if the council banned non-stunned meat.
Councillors Azhar Ali and Mohammed Iqbal both tried to delay the vote, with the latter saying: “This is taking choice away from schools and children.”
The ban revived a row from 2012 when the Lancashire County Council banned all animal flesh from its 600 schools where pre-stunning has not been used.
Then the Lancashire Council of Mosques told Muslim families to boycott all such ‘halal’ meat as it did not meet their interpretation of Islamic law.
Thousands of Muslim children at 45 county council schools in Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, and Rossendale, as well as five in Blackburn with Darwen borough supplied through the authority’s central catering unit, refused to eat meals containing the meat.
The concept of halal, — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.