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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 01:04 GMT 02:04 UK
Lamb campaign to target UK Muslims
Sheep
Many UK lambs were bred for sale in southern Europe
Muslim families are being targeted in a campaign aimed at boosting sales of British lamb.

The Meat and Livestock Commission is distributing recipe leaflets - in English and Urdu - to halal butchers as part of the promotion.

The Commission is keen to boost sales of British lamb in the wake of the export ban imposed because of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Although Muslim families represent just 5% of the population, they consume an estimated 20% of all British lamb and mutton.

Halal meat

An MLC spokesman told BBC News that British lamb had previously supplied a significant proportion of the European market for halal meat - slaughtered according to Muslim tradition.

And British meat producers were therefore ideally placed to supply what they hoped would be a growing domestic market.

British meat producers and retailers have been trying to boost the domestic market to use up the glut of produce originally bred for consumers in southern Europe.

Their problems have been intensified by the fact that the animals involved are bred as so-called light lamb, to be slaughtered and eaten young, which is popular on the Continent, but not in Britain.

See also:

22 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Beckett denies BSE cover-up
22 Oct 01 | UK
BSE mix-up lab shifts blame
18 Oct 01 | UK
Sheep BSE research 'flawed'
28 Sep 01 | UK
Q&A: BSE in sheep
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