Halal group defends criticism over Asda stock

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A CITY Halal group have moved to defend themselves over criticism levied at supermarket giant Asda by animal rights activists for allowing the group to sell Halal meat at a Birmingham branch.

The National Halal Food Group will sell its Mr Halal brand for the first time in the Small Heath Asda branch in Birmingham next month.

But the supermarket has come under attack from animal rights activists who say they should not sell the meat because of animal cruelty.

Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva) criticised the Halal method in which animals are not stunned before their throats are cut.

Muhammed Zahid Yaqoob, chief executive of the National Halal Food Group told The Asian Today demand for the Mr Halal brand had been “overwhelming”.

He said: “The feedback by customers and the local community has alhamdulillah been overwhelming and the ‘one stop shop’ concept has been appreciated.

“There is a lot of ignorance and misconception surrounding the traditional method of slaughter.”

“Prior to its death, the animal is treated well, fed and watered in a calm atmosphere before it dies. But with the stun method the animal is often killed alongside other animals like a factory line process.”

Asda also defended the move saying the Mr Halal brand was being trialled at the one branch in Small Heath which is situated in a predominantly Muslim area.

A spokesman for Asda told trade magazine The Grocer the meat would only be sold through a third-party concession at the branch and would not carry the Asda own label.

“It is not being run by us, it’s being run by the National Halal Food Group which sells the Mr Halal brand,” said the spokesman.

“It’s just a trial in a single store. The reason it’s there is because of customer demands in that area. Similar demands have not been made elsewhere.”

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