A Stunning Debate

The lambs are wedged into a conveyer belt that carries them from the holding pen to the butcher. Some bleat insistently but most are quiet, bewildered. The machine stops for a moment and Mohammad Hussain, a Muslim cleric who sees to it that all slaughtering at Birmingham's Pak Mecca Meats abattoir is in keeping with religious law, strokes a lamb's head as he waits. The lamb's eyes close in contentment for a moment, until the conveyer whirs back into action. Hussain intones the Muslim blessing, and then with a single expert swipe nearly severs the animal's head.

The...

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