PQ to bring new rules for kosher, halal meat
The minister of Agriculture wants to tighten up regulations for the production of halal and kosher meat.
"The problem is that we want the slaughter to happen in the most complete conditions of hygiene and cleanliness," minister François Gendron said a month ago, adding that he intends to make an announcement this fall.
"We intend to impose a new framework on that question," he said.
His press secretary, Maxime Couture, re-confirmed this week that the project is still in the works, though he could not say how soon it would be unveiled.
Couture said that while the province does not have the ability to ban the Halal and Kosher ritual slaughter of animals, it does have the power to impose tougher health and animal welfare regulations.
Quebec's Halal Meat Association says it supports new standards in the hope that they could improve the public perception.
But, Mohamed Ghalem sees no actual need for them. "For the past 15 centuries, the standards for the animals' welfare have already been established," he says.
"I think this misunderstanding is related to Islamophobia."
A growing industry
Quebec only has the power to impose regulations on smaller slaughterhouses that do not export outside of the province.
The Agriculture ministry says it controls between 20 to 25 of these operations and at least five of them produce Halal meat.
"Halal slaughter is on the rise and its to the good fortune of Quebec and Canadian businesses," says Ghalem.
"I've seen slaughterhouses that were on the brink of bankruptcy and did not close thanks to this niche market."