Animal Welfare at Slaughter Improving in UK

UK - Animal welfare in slaughterhouses in the UK is improving.
calendar icon 3 February 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

The results of a survey of welfare conditions carried out in September 2013 and just publishing show that 96 per cent of red meat slaughterhouses and 96 per cent of white meat slaughterhouses complied with the animal welfare regulations.

This is compared to 86 per cent for red meat and 84 per cent for white meat when the survey was last taken in 2011.

The Food Standards Agency, which conducted the survey said that while there have been positive shifts in compliance, there are still areas where improvements are required.

The survey noted that the uptake for CCTV for animal welfare monitoring has increased since the 2011 survey.

There has also been a significant increase in the proportion of poultry slaughtered using the gas stunning method, which the FSA says has animal welfare benefits over traditional waterbath stunning. The gas method is now used for 71 per cent of poultry slaughter.

The number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter (allowed in accordance with religious rites) accounted for two per cent of cattle, 15 per cent of sheep and goats, and three per cent of poultry.

The animal welfare survey was designed to seek assurance that businesses are taking active steps to comply with legal requirements and achieve necessary animal welfare standards.

Information for the survey was logged by official vets working for the FSA in slaughterhouses.

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