The British Veterinary Association has recently launched an e-petition calling for the end to non-stun slaughter in the UK. Whilst European and UK legislation requires all animals to be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain, a derogation in the legislation allows animals to be slaughtered without stunning for certain religious communities. It is important to not that non-stun slaughter is not synonymous with religious slaughter - over 80% of Halal slaughter in the UK is pre-stunned (See http://www.bva.co.uk/news/3805.aspx).
Launching the e-petition BVA President and veterinary surgeon Robin Hargreaves said:
BVA has long believed that slaughter without pre-stunning unnecessarily compromise animal welfare at the time of death. It affects millions of animals every year and action is long overdue.
The e-petition is available here.