AS our MP, Mr Michael Wills, is interested in animal welfare matters and has spoken in the House of Commons on the subject, I wrote to him asking his views on the cruelty involved in the halal slaughter of animals.

In reply, he said that the evidence on whether animals felt pain if they are not stunned before killing is inconclusive. He went on to say that the Government has studied scientific evidence and that with animals not stunned the amount of pain felt between throat-cutting and loss of consciousness is not definitive. Mr Wills also stated that in light of deeply held religious sensitivities he could not support a ban.

Having lived in what is now South Yemen for two years and witnessed halal butchery at first hand I do not need Government-commissioned research to tell me whether or not it is cruel and barbaric.

I object, not on racial or religious grounds, but purely on a matter of animal welfare and I wonder how many of your readers agree with the views of Mr Wills or how many think that I am right when I say that halal killing should be banned immediately.