BVA calls on Welsh Government to end talks with abattoir approved for non-stun slaughter

22 January 2015

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling on the Welsh Government to end talks with a company that has been approved by the Food Standard’s Agency to deliver non-stun slaughter at an abattoir in Caernarfon in Wales.

In correspondence this week with the BVA, Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, confirmed that Cig Menai Cymru abattoir in Caernarfon, owned by Pak Mecca Meats, has been approved by the Food Standards Agency to carry out non-stun killing. She stated that the Welsh Government was “in dialogue with a private company regarding job creation at an abattoir in Caernarfon”.

The BVA is concerned that the Welsh Government is considering using public money to support the company without prioritising animals’ welfare and the damage done to the image and reputation of the Welsh meat industry if they knowingly support a company that doesn’t stun before killing.

Current law in Wales requires animals to be stunned before slaughter but exemptions exist for animals killed for certain communities.  BVA is calling on the Welsh Government to end these exemptions and ensure all animals are pre-stunned before slaughter.

In the correspondence with the BVA, the Government also failed to give details of the species or throughput in the abattoir, without which a proper assessment cannot be made about how much meat is being used for religious practice and how much is entering into the general food chain.

The BVA had asked how the Welsh government proposes to implement the requirement that meat derived from animals which weren’t killed before stunning only goes to the religious communities to which the non-stun derogation applies. This question was ignored.

John Blackwell, President of the BVA, said: “BVA advocates that all animals which enter an abattoir be stunned before being killed – this view is based on scientific evidence that shows that non-stun slaughter allows animals to perceive pain.

“Concern about welfare of animals at slaughter is a priority not only for our members, but also the general public with the BVA’s HM Government e-petition reaching more than 95,000 signatures. This is a clear signal that the Welsh Government is out of touch with the public on this issue. It must align its policies with animal welfare concerns and public opinion today.”

Rob Davies said: “BVA calls upon the Welsh Government to state clearly that it will not spend public money on abattoirs which don’t stun animals before killing them, either now or at any time in the future.

“BVA supports the Welsh farming industry which is the backbone of the rural economy.   I would appeal to Welsh farmers to consider the damage done to the image and reputation of Welsh meat if they knowingly take or send animals to an abattoir which doesn’t stun before killing, whether a local abattoir or a distant one.  Welsh meat must be welfare friendly from birth to slaughter. ”

  BVA Welsh Branch is also supporting the RSPCA Cymru e-petition on non-stun slaughter

BVA Media Office