JEWISH and Muslim residents in Watford have called on the Government to reject proposals to change the way they slaughter animals.

The two communities have joined forces and collected 154 signatures for a petition condemning proposals by the Farm Animals Welfare Council (FAWC) which if made law, could end hundreds of years of religious rites.

In a letter delivered to Tony Blair last week, Conservative parliamentary spokesman for Watford Ali Miraj, said: "I am writing to you to highlight the significant concern over the recent recommendation of the FAWC that the way Halal and Kosher meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals and must be banned immediately.

"This accusation is vehemently denied by both Muslim and Jewish religious leaders in Watford."