Breakthrough in BVA welfare at slaughter campaign as Minister hints at clearer labelling
22 December 2014
British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warmly welcomed reports in the Daily Telegraph (Saturday 20 December 2014) that environment minister George Eustice is giving serious
consideration to labelling meat and fish as “stunned” or “non-stunned”, in line
with BVA’s campaign on non-stun slaughter. Such a move would give a clear
indication to consumers about the welfare of animals at slaughter, an issue
that BVA has campaigned rigorously on. The report comes as BVA’s government
e-petition calling for an end non-stun slaughter in the UK reaches
nearly 80,000 signatures.
evidence shows that non-stun slaughter allows animals to perceive pain and
compromises welfare. This position is supported by the RSPCA, the Humane
Slaughter Association, the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, and the Federation of
Veterinarians of Europe.
BVA continues to call for all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter to
render them insensible to pain, the Association believes that clearer labelling
in the short term would help consumers to make a pro-animal welfare choice.
Currently meat from animals that have not been pre-stunned is entering the
May this year BVA called on party leaders to reject calls by some MPs to
compulsorily label food as “Halal” or “Kosher” and instead called for food
labelling to state whether the animal has been stunned in line with European
and UK welfare legislation or not stunned under a legal derogation.
argues that labelling Halal and Kosher would do nothing to inform the public
about animal welfare concerns, and could fuel prejudice. From an animal welfare
perspective labelling meat as “Halal” does not recognise that nearly 90% of
Halal slaughter in the UK
on the report, BVA President John
announcement from Defra Minister George Eustice is very welcome, and could make
a significant difference to the amount of meat from non-stun slaughter entering
the general foodchain without consumers’ knowledge.
continues to campaign for all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter to
render them insensible to pain until death supervenes and our government
e-petition has attracted nearly 80,000 signatures. But if it non-stun slaughter
is to continue we must have clearer labelling.
we have said before, the answer to labelling is very simple. Food should be
labelled as ‘stunned’ or ‘non-stunned’. This is a measure supported by the
European Parliament in June 2010, and strongly supported by our members. In our
own Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey 94% of respondents said that
consumers should be better informed about slaughter methods and 9 out of 10
would not buy meat from non-stunned animals.
is extremely important that the issue of welfare at slaughter is not hijacked
by other agendas and the clear, simple labelling being suggested by George
Eustice keeps the sole issue of animal welfare to the fore. We are still
campaigning vigorously to end non-stun slaughter in the UK, but we believe this
is a step in the right direction for consumers who care about the welfare of
animals when they purchase meat and fish.”
The BVA government e-petition to end non-stun slaughter in the UK can be signed
at the e-petition website .
To tweet about the petition use #stunb4slaughter and include @BritishVets
Daily Telegraph Shoppers will be told how their meat has been killed 20
BVA news release, BVA tells party leaders ‘halal’ labelling won’t help animal
welfare 13 May 2014:
BVA news release 9 in 10 vets say consumers should be better informed about