Halal meat is part of sharia laws which govern the lives of Muslims in Britain and across the world
Halal meat is part of sharia laws which govern the lives of Muslims in Britain and across the world Getty

An anti-Islam group that describes Halal meat as "incredibly cruel" is staging a protest against the practice at a Northern Ireland abattoir.

Exposing Islam - Northern Ireland 2, said it will protest at the gates of the Dungannon-based meat processing firm Dunbia over its use of Muslim slaughter methods on 4 November.

The group, which counts Traditional Unionist Voice Belfast councillor Jolene Bunting among its followers, told the Belfast Telegraph it was "totally opposed to halal slaughter, on animal welfare grounds".

A spokesperson added: "The animal can become very distressed during the barbaric process."

But on the website to advertise the demonstration it also blasts Halal slaughter as "unchristian", adding that the firm hurts local employment because the process "forces companies to hire Muslims over Christians".

Animals killed using Halal slaughter have their throats cut and their blood drained away. British law requires animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter in normal circumstances, but there is an exemption for Jewish and Muslim methods under the Slaughter of Animals Act 1933. Some Muslims allow animals to be pre-stunned, while others do not.

Dunbia confirmed that it does employ halal slaughter methods at its Dungannon plant.

A spokeswoman said: "The company works to the very highest animal welfare standards and uses humane slaughter processes where all animals are stunned before slaughter, with relevant staff trained to the WATOK [welfare of animals at the time of killing] standard."

Loyalist councillor Bunting told the Northern Irish newspaper that although she was "no longer an administrator" of the group's Facebook page, she still followed it.

Exposing Islam - Northern Ireland 2 also said it was in talks with a cinema in Belfast to screen the UK premiere of a documentary film funded by an American far-right, anti-Muslim extremist group.

The film called Can't We Talk About This? is funded by the American Freedom Defence Initiative, and bills itself as "the true story of the Islamic Supremacist war on free speech, as told by those on the front lines fighting for our First Amendment rights".