Fears over destination of non-stunned animals

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Concerns have been expressed over the destination of animals slaughtered without stunning that have been deemed unfit for religious consumption
Concerns have been expressed over the destination of animals slaughtered without stunning that have been deemed unfit for religious consumption
Animal welfare groups have expressed concern over the potential of meat from non-stunned animals being sold to consumers unaware of how it was slaughtered.

According to Food Standards Agency (FSA) figures, more than 94m animals were slaughtered without stunning in 2018. However, the data revealed that 90,500 animals, most of which were chickens, were deemed unsuitable for religious consumption and may have been repackaged and sold.

The RSPCA and British Veterinary Association (BVA), who campaigned for the release of these figures said this was “disturbing”​.

‘Crucial statistics’

Dr Marc Cooper, head of farm animals at the RSPCA said: “We’re encouraged that these important Food Standards Agency slaughter figures have been released today, following a joint letter last week from the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association urging the UK Government to release these crucial statistics.

“The report highlights that over 94m animals were slaughtered without stunning in 2018 – that’s an average of three animals every second. The RSPCA is against any slaughter of farm animals without stunning as the scientific evidence, and the view from the UK Government’s own advisors, concludes this practice can cause unnecessary suffering.

“What is particularly disturbing is that 90,000 of the 2.9m non-stunned animals slaughtered for kosher certified meat were rejected as being ‘unfit for religious consumption’. We are concerned that this meat could be entering the conventional market unlabelled.”

End to non-stun slaughter

The RSPCA also repeated its call for an end to non-stun slaughter. “The RSPCA has been calling for an end to non-stun slaughter for many years, as it seriously compromises animal welfare. Our concern does not relate to the expression of religious belief but the welfare of animals.

“We need to follow the lead of other countries that have successfully banned non-stun slaughter: Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark, and more recently, the Flanders region of Belgium.

We have seen how some countries such as New Zealand, have a vibrant export trade in stunned meat to Muslim countries such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia showing that trade need not be barrier to better protection of farm animals.”

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4 comments

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I stunned killing

Posted by Derek Roberts,

When I worked in an abattoir the U.K. slaughtermen refused to kill this way and rabbis were brought over from Europe. It is cruel and barbaric. I worked as a butcher for 30 years and it is bad enough the animals have to be killed but at least have the decency to do it properly and humanely. Surely the rspca should be seen and heard to be doing something. 94million cases of animal cruelty is surely something to get their teeth into.

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Not the whole story

Posted by Jennifer McGirr,

The problem with this is it's only half the story. All of these so-called animal welfare groups have known for years that even when animals are stunned it's transient, only lasting about 20 seconds. The animals come round to find themselves on a hook upside down and paralysed but mentally aware so they die in terror and agony once their throat has been cut.
We're being sold religiously slaughtered meat by stealth. Too much of it is produced so any excuse is found to reject it as unsuitable or haram. It's then bought up by supermarkets etc and sold to us labelled as normal meat. If you ask in shops if the meat was religiously slaughtered you're told NO which is a blatant lie. They seem to think if it had a stun it's ok but it isn't, we're being conned and the government knows but does nothing about it because they don't want to upset the followers of an ideology who are in a minority in the UK but appear to be able to call the shots.
It's a national scandal that British people cannot even expect to buy properly labelled food in the 21st century!

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Non-Stun Slaughter

Posted by Chris,

Efforts to prevent non-stun slaughter in UK have previously been talked-out by shameless MPs concerned solely for their own re-election in constituencies with populations who have not properly integrated, care nothing about animal suffering and/or care only for their outdated, historic conceptions when non-stun slaughter was not available. The sooner mandatory stun slaughter and higher welfare of farm animals is introduced the better. Mr Gove - what do you say - how about fulfilling your promises??

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