Halal and Kosher meat "an affront to Quebec values," PQ says
Two major Quebec political parties are speaking out against Halal and Kosher meat.
The Parti Quebecois says killing animals according to Jewish and Muslim ritual causes suffering, and also produces unhealthy meat.
"If I had the choice at the counter," says Parti Quebecois MNA André Simard. "I would not buy it."
Those who endorse Kosher and Halal meats often argue that the animals are killed quickly, and suffer less.
But, Simard also says the Halal and Kosher method could be dangerous for human health. "Ritual slaughter also concerns sanitary risks," he says, because, it involves bleeding of the animal after its death, which he says could lead to E-coli contamination.
François Legault's CAQ says it shares the PQ's animal welfare concerns, and is also calling for mandatory labelling for any Halal or Kosher meat.
The controversy arose after a slaughterhouse near St.-Hyacinthe that produces Halal chicken said that some of its products are sold to the general public, without any labelling.
Olymel, which owns the plant, says that the chicken in question is not slaughtered according to the traditional Islamic method, but is simply prayed over by an Imam.
Liberals to ask for labelling
Quebec's Agriculture minister, in the meantime, will ask the federal government to impose mandatory labelling on all animals killed according to the religious rites.
Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman says the public has a right to transparency. But, he says Parti Quebecois' comments are nonetheless disturbing. "If you read between the lines, there is really ethnic bashing, which, in my opinion, is odious, unacceptable, and reeks of intolerance."