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Animal Welfare in Slaughterhouses Improving

January 30, 2015

The latest Food Standards Agency animal welfare survey of slaughterhouses in Great Britain shows a significant increase in compliance with welfare regulations. The survey which aims to give a snapshot of how well animal welfare requirements are being met, was undertaken in September 2013.

Results showed that 96% of red and white meat slaughterhouses complied with welfare requirements compared to 86% for red meat and 84% for white meat when the survey was last undertaken in 2011.

The use of CCTV to monitor animal welfare has also increased, while 71% of poultry establishments now use gas stunning which has welfare benefits over the traditional water bath method. The number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter allowed in accordance with religious rites accounted for 15% of sheep and goats, 3% of poultry, and 2% of cattle.

Despite positive shifts towards compliance the report says routine monitoring highlights that there are still areas where improvements are required including a greater emphasis on animal welfare amongst some business operators.

Information for the survey was logged by official vets working for the FSA. The agency are currently consulting with DEFRA, the Scottish and Welsh governments and other stakeholders on the future of animal welfare monitoring and reporting.

You can view a copy of the 2013 Animal Welfare Survey in Great Britain Here