British shechitah group complains to ethics council about ‘misleading’ article

(JTA) — A British group that lobbies for kosher slaughter has filed a complaint against a newspaper with the country’s Press Complaints Commission.

The complaint was filed Sunday by the group Shechita UK over a March 16 article published by The Mail on Sunday, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

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The article opened with the words: “Beef and lamb from animals killed in ‘cruel’ ritual ceremonies are being sold in mainstream butchers, restaurants and supermarkets across Britain.”

Shechita UK called the report “aggressive and sensationalized” and “deeply unpleasant not only for the pejorative and mischievous editorial line but also for the way in which it deliberately misled its readers.”

Meat produced through Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter, shechitah and dabihah respectively, does not require any special labeling. Some animal rights advocates object to ritual slaughter because they believe they say killing animals without first stunning them is cruel.

On his March 12 visit to Israel, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to keep shechitah legal in Britain.

Shechita UK said the Mail had chosen “intentionally aggressive and partisan language” to sensationalize concerns.

But the newspaper defended its story, the Chronicle reported. A Mail spokesman said: “It is an undisputed fact that some people regard the shechitah slaughter method as cruel. The newspaper did not express an opinion itself.”

The spokesperson added: “We refute any suggestion that the article was pejorative or misleading.”

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