The Sunday Roast – just the thing for the family?

Loopholes in the law mean that Australian consumers are unknowingly buying meat from animals that have been slaughtered without being stunned first, as required by law.

Exemptions from the requirement to stun animals are granted to a small ritual market – but cuts of the meat not suitable for the kosher market then end up on the supermarket shelf or at the butcher, without special labelling.

Animal welfare was again on the agenda at the April meeting of the COAG Standing Council on Primary Industries. Discussions included an on-going issue that has slipped beneath the public radar:  the ritual slaughter of farm animals in Australia.  But, once again, it failed to make a decision.

Thanks to labelling laws, what goes into sausages is no longer a mystery. But for RSPCA’s Melina Tensen, it doesn’t go far enough:

“People are unwittingly buying non-stunned lamb because it is unlabelled. Unlike halal, only the forequarter of the animal is suitable for the kosher market so the rest ends up on the super market shelf or at the butcher,” Ms Tensen said.

As one meat producer in Victoria explained: “That’s 70% of the animal including two family favourites – the Sunday roast and barbecued loin chops.” Continue reading