What the Halal is going on? University is secretly serving you controversial Islamic meat
Uni staff admit it regularly serves us Halal meat, which is often slaughtered using “cruel” practices. Warning: this article contains shocking images.
The University of Birmingham is secretly serving controversial Halal chicken and lamb to unsuspecting students, The Tab can reveal.
Every single catering outlet on campus sells the meat, which is slaughtered according to Islamic law and often involves slowly killing animals without stunning them, meaning they are fully conscious and susceptible to pain when killed.
But – with the exception of two sandwiches – none of the food in the 25 on-campus eateries carries any warning to tell students they are buying Halal meat.
When questioned, Mark Houghton, the University’s Chief Executive Chef, admitted students are unwittingly eating Halal on a daily basis.
He said: “We use Halal across the range of our products, but we have taken the stance not to label it. There is no legal requirement – we don’t have to.”
This meat may come from animals that are slaughtered without stunning, which is allowed under EU law.
Mark Houghton claimed staff are trained to inform students about which meat is halal, but when staff told The Tab all chicken on campus was Halal, he denied this was true, making a mockery of his claim.
Watch Halal meat being made at an unrelated slaughterhouse in Belgium (you may find these images upsetting):
Yesterday, news of the scandal sparked outrage from students and animal rights campaigners.
In a statement to The Tab, the RSPCA condemned any slaughter that uses this method, as it has been scientifically proven to cause “unnecessary suffering.”
A spokesperson said: “The University of Birmingham absolutely has an ethical responsibility to inform customers how their meat is slaughtered.”
On hearing that he was being served Halal meat without his knowledge, James Kettel, a second year History student voiced his anger: “I feel deceived. I have a right to know if the food I am eating is prepared in this way.”
First year Mechanical Engineering student Sara added: “I completely disapprove of the University’s decision not to label its Halal products. I would not eat food prepared in this way knowingly.”
The Halal scandal has concerned politicians and animal welfare groups like the RSPCA for a considerable amount of time.
Several prominent Animal welfare groups have accused large institutions like Birmingham University of using Halal meat because it is cheaper.
When questioned on this matter, Mark Houghton denied that he was being “economical” by using Halal, although when we compared the price of the University’s Halal chicken compared to non-Halal, the Halal meat was significantly cheaper.
A University of Birmingham spokesperson said: “The University of Birmingham’s catering providers source meat from a selection of outlets, all of which have been through a rigorous tender process and all of whom comply with all EU rules regarding the slaughter of animals for meat.
“The three main providers of raw meat all have the relevant certification to demonstrate that they comply with these rules. Our suppliers are chosen for quality, value for money and ability to provide us with a consistent service.
“We do specifically purchase some meat that is clearly labelled halal to ensure we can confidently offer this option to students and staff who want this choice. In addition, the pre-packed sandwiches which are available in our outlets are clearly marked as halal where applicable.
“However, there is no UK legal requirement to label halal meat, which means that some of the raw meat we purchase may be halal but not labelled as such.”