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Religious Leaders Angry About Meat Labeling Plans

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Religious Leaders Angry About Meat Labeling Plans

Members of the European Parliament's food committee are backing a food labeling bill that calls for products to include information on how an animal was slaughtered. The labels will identify whether or not the animal was stunned before it was slaughtered, targeting ritual practices done performed by Jewish shechita and Muslim halal butchers, according to The Guardian.

The source reported that, under the shechita technique, animals are not stunned before they have their throats cut. Halal meat is slaughtered using a similar approach, however, 80 percent of animals slaughtered using this technique are stunned, the source noted, according to the British Veterinary Association.

Religious leaders throughout Europe are upset over the new food labeling, claiming it makes kosher rituals appear "barbaric," Ynetnews reported.

"It is insulting to the Jewish community, which holds ancient precepts about caring for animals, to have our traditions portrayed as barbaric as some have done," Rabbi Arye Goldberg told Ynetnews.

However, conversely, there are also concerns that non-Jewish consumers may be turned away from products that lack such labeling - a major loss for the kosher market.