Birds: Slaughterhouses

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th 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 orders to stop or suspend the operation of a production or shackle line because birds were showing signs of consciousness before entering the next stage of production were issued by official veterinarians to 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

There have been no orders or formal enforcement actions to stop or suspend the operation of a production or shackle line because birds were showing signs of consciousness before entering the next stage of production.

Due to the automated nature of poultry production, any stoppages of the line may result in an adverse effect on the welfare of the animals within the shackle line before and after the stage of stunning.

Incidents involving an individual bird would generally be resolved by dealing with the bird while still in the moving line or by removing the individual bird.

Incidents involving a more systemic failure of the stunning system which may require a suspension of the operation will generally be resolved without the service of a formal notice due to the urgent nature of the action required.

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