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Quarter of sheep and goat slaughtered pre-stunning
Published:  13 September, 2017

Research has indicated that the number of animals being killed without being stunned first is on the rise. 

According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), slaughter without stunning “unnecessarily compromises” the welfare of the animal at the time of death. The research highlighted that the number of sheep and goats being killed without being stunned beforehand increased from 15% in 2013 to 24.4% for April and June this year.

Meanwhile, the number of chickens slaughtered pre-stunning rose from 3% in 2013 to 18.5% this year, according to the Food Standards Agency’s research.

“This huge increase in the number of sheep, goats and poultry that are not stunned or not stunned effectively before slaughter is a grave concern to our profession,” said BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

“Millions of individual animals are affected, making this a major animal welfare issue. The supply of meat from animals that have not been stunned massively outstrips the demand from the communities for which it is intended and is entering the mainstream market unlabelled.

“In the light of these official figures we reiterate our call for all animals to be stunned before slaughter. If slaughter without stunning is still to be permitted, any meat from this source must be clearly labelled and the supply of non-stun products should be matched with demand.”

The BVA has campaigned for the reintroduction of a law that will guarantee animals are stunned before slaughter. The association has also called for all meat and fish products that have been killed pre-stunning to be clearly labelled.