These are the major UK supermarkets which sell Halal meat - and why

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A number of supermarkets in the UK have diversified the food they sell in their stores - including Halal meat.

Several supermarkets across the UK now serve Halal meat in at least some of their stores, and have done so for some time.

What is Halal?

In Arabic, the word Halal means “permitted” or “lawful” and defines anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Qur’an.

It is often used in the context of food – especially meat – to indicate that the food has been prepared in accordance with Muslim principles and techniques.

EU law requires animals for the food chain to be stunned (made unconscious) prior to killing, so that death should be painless, although there is an exception for religious slaughter.

However, many restaurants still require that Halal slaughter involves stunning first, and the majority of Halal slaughter in the UK involves stunning according to the RSPCA.

A report from the animal charity in 2012 states that 90% of sheep and 97% of cattle slaughtered using Halal methods in the UK were stunned first.

But which supermarkets and chain restaurants are selling it?

Waitrose

Waitrose said that some of its lamb is halal but all of their other meat is non-halal.

A spokesperson said: "Some of our lamb is slaughtered after a Halal blessing, but in line with our strict policies, it is always pre-stunned."

Marks and Spencer

M&S said: "All meat sold at M&S is stunned prior to slaughter, regardless of origin. This adheres to our strict animal welfare policy.

"Because religious practice isn’t a part of our sourcing policy, we don’t show on our labels whether meat has been blessed or not."

Tesco

A spokesperson said: "We require all slaughter processes for Tesco own label products to meet our stringent animal welfare requirements, without exception. In every case, the animal is stunned before slaughter.

"We do however, in a small number of stores, sell branded meat or host concessions that sell un-stunned halal and kosher meat. This is to serve customers who specifically wish to purchase un-stunned meat. This meat is clearly labelled Halal or Kosher, so that our customers are able to make informed choices."

Morrisons

Some of the branded chicken, lamb and beef they serve is halal as is the New Zealand lamb.

Sainsbury's

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said:

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"In line with our high welfare standards, all the animals used for our own brand meat are stunned prior to slaughter.

"Under no circumstances would any of our own brand meat be from an animal that has not been stunned prior to slaughter.

"The animal will always be treated humanely with the utmost respect.

"In New Zealand it is common for lamb to be blessed however we have never requested this and all of our own brand meat is from animals stunned prior to slaughter so it would be wrong to label our own brand meat as Halal.

"We do sell a selection of branded halal and kosher products in some stores, all of which is very clearly labelled."

Asda

A range of halal and kosher products are sold at Asda.