THE National Sheep Association insists that the practice of killing sheep without first stunning them is on the decrease around the world.
But the chief executive, Phil Stocker, said the halal debate is complex and there's concern that some people have started to ask for non-stun products because of recent comments on the controversy.
He said: "Stunning at slaughter is best practice and desirable but a proportion of followers of some religious faiths insist on slaughter without stunning and we have little option but to respect those beliefs and continue to work on awareness and explore alternative options such as post-slaughter stun.
"A major unintended consequence of misinformed discussions about halal in the past has been an increased demand for non-stun product, not less, so raising this issue so publicly can have the opposite effect and drive things backwards not forwards.
"We urge consumers to continue buying British lamb and not to assume welfare standards have slipped at the end of the animal's life. If you are in any doubt look for the Red Tractor logo or organic certification, as these assurance schemes insist animals are stunned in the abattoir."