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Slaughterhouses: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th December 2017.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will launch an investigation into the variation in rates of animal welfare between (a) non-stun halal and (b) other abattoirs.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Official veterinarians (OVs) from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are present in all approved slaughterhouses in England and take a prompt, proportionate and risk based approach to enforcement action when animal welfare breaches are identified.

The government is introducing mandatory CCTV recording in slaughterhouses which will further enable OVs to monitor and verify animal welfare standards in the slaughterhouse.

The Government would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter but respects the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. We are aware of the audit data suggesting a variation between non-stun and stun slaughterhouses and are investigating this with FSA.

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