20 March 1998
Farmers urged to stop sheep exports
By FWi staff
ANIMAL rights pressure groups want the live export of UK sheep to France stopped because ritual slaughter plays a major part in a forthcoming religious festival in Paris.
They claim that up to 1.5 million sheep have been ritually slaughtered in the open air during the Muslim feast of Eid-el-Kebir in past years.The slaughter contravenes European Union legislation and French laws which ban the practice. This year, the festival is on April 15.
Les Ward, of Advocates for Animals, sympathised with the poor prices UK sheep farmers have endured this year, but his organisation is trying to get the “barbaric festival” banned. Compassion in World Farming has taken the issue up with European Commissioner Franz Fischler. And the Ministry of Agriculture is also against the live export and mass slaughter of UK sheep in France.
An NFU spokesman said it was up to individual farmers to decide whether sheep should be sold for the export market.