A council of mosques says it does not endorse poultry that is stunned before slaughter and urged the ‘community to exercise caution’.

The Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) was asked to clarify their stance on KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) following the opening of a new halal branch in Whitebirk Blackburn.

The new KFC at the new service by near junction six of the M65 opened in October. It is part of the £100m 90-acre Frontier Park development by Euro Garages.

KFC chicken is certified by the Halal Food Authority (HFA) - a certification that is used by the vast majority of restaurants and takeaways across the UK.

In 2010 when a KFC began serving halal food the LCM had issued a similar statement.

A new LCM statement read, “Lancashire Council of Mosques confirms that it does not endorse poultry that is stunned before slaughter. This is contrary to the Prophetic method of slaughter.

“Such products do not conform to the Halal criteria of the Lancashire Council of Mosques which was adopted after extensive consultation with Lancashire based scholars and Imams from the various schools of thought. We would therefore request the community to exercise caution.”

The Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) were also contacted for their views but have yet to respond.

KFC serves Halal food in several restaurants across the UK. Their website states, “We set ourselves high standards across all our restaurants and with our suppliers. As part of our commitment to maintaining these standards, we work closely with the Halal Food Authority, who accredit and regularly audit our Halal restaurants.

“In our Halal restaurants we do not handle any pork ingredients, and all the food and drink items served in these restaurants are approved by the Halal Food Authority. This ensures the very best Halal standards but does mean that certain menu items and limited time offers may not be available.

“Another key consideration for us was that we were able to ensure that the halal certified chicken would also meet the rigorous animal welfare standards we employ in the UK, and we consulted leading animal welfare groups about this.

“There is no compromise to our welfare standards. We continue to insist that our poultry is stunned before slaughter, using a technique called 'stun-to-stun'. We only buy high quality, Grade A, farm-assured chicken from trustworthy suppliers, who are contractually required to meet or exceed all relevant UK and EU legislation and this will not change.”