Birds: Slaughterhouses

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th July 2019.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice Conservative, Camborne and Redruth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many recorded instances or reports from official veterinarians there have been of birds entering the next stage of production while still showing signs of consciousness in slaughterhouses in England and Wales in each of the last five years.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The following table shows by reporting year the number of instances that official veterinarians have recorded enforcement action following an incident when stunning was considered to be ineffective in poultry slaughterhouses:

Reporting Year

Instances where stunning deemed ineffective

April 2014 – March 2015


April 2015 – March 2016


April 2016 – March 2017


April 2017 – March 2018


April 2018 – March 2019


The business operator must implement systems to ensure stunning is efficient. There must be Standard Operating Procedures in place which specify the action to be taken when birds show signs of consciousness or sensibility after the stunning procedure. Instances of birds identified and dealt with by the Business Operator in accordance to their own procedures will not be recorded by the official veterinarian.

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