A far-right group has been accused of exploiting animal rights concerns in Skegness to push its ideology.
The BNP were expected to hold their latest protest outside the halal abattoir in Heath Road today (Saturday).
The protest is one of several that have taken place outside the abattoir following the news that the business would carry out halal slaughter - a religious ritual which has its roots in Islam.
Traditional slaughter sees animals killed by a bolt to the brain - a supposedly near instantaneous death which is seen by some as more humane, although there is debate as to how swift and successful such slaughter is at minimising an animal’s distress.
Halal slaughter, meanwhile, involves slitting an animal’s throat and draining it of blood, and is required by practising Muslims.
This has aroused animal rights concerns among some in the local community and led to campaigns against this type of slaughter.
THe BNP has voiced its support for these local campaigns and also held protests of its own outside the abattoir.
But a local anti-fascist group has now slammed the BNP’s protests and accused them of making an opportunistic attempt to push their right-wing ideology, and of hijacking genuine animal rights concerns in the local area.
The East Midlands Anti-Fascists (EMAF) made the attack this morning to coincide with the protest.
“The fascist British National Party will hold a demonstration outside Skegness’ halal slaughterhouse today. In the absence of a genuine animal rights movement, the BNP is exploiting the real concern of local people about the treatment of animals for its own racist and divisive political agenda,” said a spokesperson for EMAF.
“The BNP only campaign against halal slaughter, not the almost identical kosher slaughter or animal rights abuses committed by white British farmers, because they have identified racism against Asian Muslims as a vote winner.
“Genuine animal rights activists, such as Bristol Animal Rights Collective, have called the focus on halal slaughter “a sign of racial and cultural discrimination” and stated that they “hope [fascists] will be shown that they’re not welcome in Skegness or the animal liberation movement!
“The BNP’s supposed stance against animal cruelty is hypocrisy. The party has given active support to fox hunting in the past.
When the Hunting Bill banning the hunting of foxes with dogs was given the Royal Ascent, the BNP announced that “BNP supporters were devastated by the news” calling fox hunting “a sport which has an important role to play”.
“The BNP is only interested in recruiting people and winning votes, not the plight of animals.
“Unlike the BNP, East Midlands Anti-fascists are opposed to all animal cruelty. We do not make distinctions based on the ethnic or religious background of the perpetrators.
“We want to shut down the Skegness slaughterhouse and all factory farming. We also want to shut down the anti-working class policies of the BNP,” they added.