As you may know, the Government advisory body the Farm Animal Welfare
Council (FAWC) produced a report on the issue of animal welfare at
slaughter last year. The Government recently issued its response
to the Council’s report and I am very disappointed that they
have not taken up some of the most important recommendations made
by the Council. Please support the campaign to reduce the enormous
suffering of animals at slaughter by pressing the Government to take
action over the following severe welfare problems:
- the stunning of animals with carbon dioxide gas
Scientific research has shown that CO2 which is now used in around
a quarter of all pig slaughterings causes great distress to animals.
Pigs squeal, hyperventilate and try to escape for up to 30 seconds
in the gas chamber. FAWC recommended phasing out the use of this
aversive gas but the Government has refused to do so.
- the killing of fully conscious animals
Under a special legal exemption, animals killed for halal or
kosher meat do not have to be stunned at all and are knifed
Although over 90% of animals slaughtered for halal meat in
Britain are now pre-stunned, no legislative action has been
taken to ban
this cruelty. FAWC recommended the practice be banned but the
Government has refused to do so.
- Animals being improperly stunned
Poor stunning technique, incorrect placement of electric stunning
tongs and allowing too much time between stunning and “sticking” – the
act of killing - means that millions of animals either never lose
consciousness, suffer pain on stunning or regain consciousness before
their throats are cut. FAWC recommended far closer supervision of
stunning and mandatory “stun-to-stick” times. The
Government has introduced no changes on the former and refused
Nearly two-and-a-half million animals are killed in Britain
every day and the size of this industrialised slaughter
means that welfare
problems such as these affect very large numbers of animals.
There can be no excuse for refusing to take action against
such a scale. I look forward to your reply.