On 28th March 2019 Baroness Ludford asked the Government, “in the light of developments including the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 26 February Œuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoirs v Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation (C–497/17) that meat prepared according to the rules of religious slaughter cannot be classed as organic, what plans they have to encourage a wider debate about the space for practice in accordance with religious rights that respects human rights and equalities laws”.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, the noble Baroness’s Question is about much more than meat. It was Lord Acton who wrote that religious freedoms are the foundation of political freedoms. Is it not true that the debate for which the noble Baroness is calling is very relevant, despite the record to which the Minister has drawn attention and of which we can be proud? Religious groups are feeling caught between the views of the majority in all sorts of situations and their own religious observance and conviction.
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate makes a relevant point about the general issue and about having a debate. A debate may well be something that we should have, although I find it difficult to have it on a question of this nature. I draw the right reverend Prelate’s attention to the report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2015—some three years ago—which indicated a general satisfaction with the balance that we have at the moment. However, I accept that there are issues to be addressed and I personally would welcome such a debate.
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