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Animals: Slaughter

House of Lords written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Moonie Lord Moonie Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of domesticated animals and birds slaughtered in 2010 without being stunned first.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The most recent data on the slaughter of animals without prior stunning was published in March 2004 by the Meat Hygiene Service in its Animal Welfare Review. The data was collected through a survey of meat plants between 1 and 7 September 2003. The table below shows the number of animals killed over that period without prior stunning for the production of Kosher and Halal meat:

Species Not Stunned
Cattle 365
Calves 8
Young lambs 6,845
Other sheep 11,454
Goats 62
Broilers 167,745
Hens 15,900
Turkeys 749
Ducks 610

More recent data collected by the EU Dialrel project (see http://www.dialrel.eu/images/factsheet-assesment-practices.pdf) shows that, of the UK abattoirs surveyed, 100 per cent of the animals and birds slaughtered for the production of Kosher meat were slaughtered without prior stunning. For Halal meat, 25 per cent of cattle and 7 per cent of sheep were slaughtered without prior stunning. The Dialrel data also indicates that no poultry were slaughtered for Halal production without stunning.

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