In response to a lawsuit by Muslim inmates over non-Halal meats, Ohio officials have decided to remove all pork products from prison menus. The state’s pork producers and processors have criticized the move and have threatened legal action in return, over what they consider to be an unfair decision.
"We really think it's not in the best interest, frankly, of the whole prison system," said Dick Isler, executive director of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. "It seems like we're letting a small group make the rules when it really isn't in the best interest of the rest of prisoners."
The Associated Press reports that the original lawsuit from Muslim inmates stems from non-pork meats like beef. The suit demands that meat comes from animals slaughtered according to Islamic Halal practices. The prison system responded by removing pork as an option. A spokesman for the prisons said that by removing pork, it eliminates the risk that pork will come into contact with other food during preparation.
If Ohio would provide Muslim inmates with pre-packaged meals similar to those given to Jewish inmates, as the lawsuit requests, it wouldn't be necessary to remove pork from menus, said David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which is suing on behalf of the two inmates.
California, Florida, Maryland and Massachusetts also do not serve pork products in prison.
Source: Associated Press