24th May 2002
Dr A Majid Katme, spokeman on halal meat and food for the Muslim Council of Britain attended a meeting arranged by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Wednesday 22nd May 2002.
The meeting was organised to brief stakeholders of BSE and Sheep Stakeholders Report which was being released the following day. The report highlighted figures for the year 2000 claiming that the Muslim community in the UK alone consumed 55,000 tonnes of mutton and 24,000 tonnes of lamb (20% of all sheep consumed in Britain). The report also emphasised the Higher Theoretical Risk of Infection in mutton being the largest amount of meat consumed by the Muslim community in the UK.
To date, there have been no single case reported of any BSE presence in sheep but the FSA have recommended the removal of Intestines from the food chain (used in manufacturing sausages) to avoid the risk. There is no diagnostic test available to diagnose BSE in infected sheep and therefore it has been recommended to eat lamb rather than mutton.
A popular Hadith states “Avoid that which is doubtful over that which is not doubtful.”, Tirmidhi/Nasai.