THE President of the Jewish Society at an Oxford University college has attacked a motion passed by students calling for a ban of halal and kosher meats from its dining hall.
The BBC reports that Nicole Jacobus, above, said of the motion that was passed by Somerville College’s Junior Common Room (JCR) :
The very fact that this amendment was passed in a JCR meeting without a Jewish student being able to challenge it highlights the lack of diversity and awareness of other cultures amongst students in Oxford.
The vote to ban kosher food only makes the diversity issue worse, as it shows that Jewish students are not only poorly provided for, but that they cannot actively practise as Jews at Somerville.
This reflects badly on the whole of the Oxford student community.
Judaism forbids the use of stunning, where animals are made immobile or unconscious, immediately before slaughter. The RSPCA says slaughter without pre-stunning “can cause unnecessary suffering”.According to the Halal Authority Board, there is a strong strand of religious opinion that livestock should not be stunned before slaughter, but others feel that light stunning is permissible.
Its standards permit both types of slaughter, and dictate a number of requirements regarding animal welfare for both.
According to its head of certification, Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq:
If followed properly, both unstunned and stunned are extremely humane forms of slaughter and the evidence to suggest otherwise is completely wrong.
The issue arose after the college said it looking to expand its halal and kosher menus.
It said it is looking into the JCR motion, but the vote by the students is not binding.
A college spokesman added:
We want all our students to feel comfortable and well looked-after, including at meal-times. We are looking into expanding our provision of halal and kosher meat, and also providing more lactose-free, gluten-free and meat-free options, following a request by the JCR.