British Veterinary Association raises slaughtering policy concerns

British Veterinary Association raises slaughtering policy concerns

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has announced its concern that two-thirds of food companies are unaware of their commitment to stunning animals before slaughter.

Sheep in a field - photo credit EBLEX

BVA is concerned that food companies are unaware of their animal stunning responsibility.

In findings published in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, it was revealed that only 4% of companies have a universal commitment in regards to stunning before slaughter.

Slaughter without pre-stunning is the only welfare measure showing a decline in the percentage of food companies that have a specific policy on the practice, down from 34% in 2014 and 32% in 2015.

BVA has run a high profile end campaign to end non-stun slaughter in the UK. A public petition was created in 2015, which gained 120,000 signatures. Along with other animal welfare organisations, BVA believes that animals should be stunned so that they are not in pain.

Last year, two-thirds of BVA members suggested the issue was one of their top priorities for government.

Sean Wensley, BVA president, commented: “There are several positive findings on the growing commitment of food companies towards farm animal welfare in the BBFAW report, which we welcome, but the report highlights a disappointing lack of commitment towards animal welfare at the time of slaughter. The European Commission’s study of 13,500 meat consumers across Europe found that 72% wanted information about the stunning of animals at slaughter. Food companies need to sit up and take consumers’ concerns about humane slaughter seriously. People want to be assured that farmed animals receive both a good life and a humane death.”

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