Halal school meals plan to be put to all councillors

A final decision on whether Lancashire County Council will stop supplying non-stunned halal meat for school meals will be made in October.
A final decision on whether Lancashire County Council will stop supplying non-stunned halal meat for school meals will be made in October.
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A final decision on whether Lancashire County Council will stop supplying non-stunned halal meat for school meals will now be taken by all of the authority's members.

The long-running controversy appeared to have been settled last month, after cabinet members voted through a plan to provide only meat which had been stunned prior to slaughter.

The move means schools who currently opt to be supplied with unstunned halal meat will continue to be supplied as the new term begins in September.

The county council's cabinet made a decision in July to provide only stunned halal meat, except poultry, to schools.

But following consideration it has been decided a final decision on the matter should be put to a vote at the meeting on October 18th so all members can consider it.

The decision to debate the issue at Full Council also follows communication with the Lancashire Council of Mosques.

It will now be up to Full Council to define the council's policy on the terms of any new contract to be tendered.

County Councillor Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "We supply halal meat to a small number of schools where it is served in dishes as one of a number of options able to be chosen by students whose parents have specifically requested it. The contract becoming due for renewal gave us the opportunity to consider the animal welfare issues surrounding the supply of unstunned halal meat, and we held a public consultation so that cabinet could consider all the impacts before making their decision.

"Cabinet appropriately considered the report and reached a decision under the council's procedures, however, following recent communication with the Lancashire Council of Mosques we have given further consideration to the strength of feeling on both sides of the debate, and I have asked that council now be asked to take the decision."

The meeting will take place on 18th October.