Animal welfare survey of slaughterhouses published

The FSA is today publishing the results of its 2013 animal welfare survey of slaughterhouses in Britain.

The survey, last carried out in 2011, gives a snapshot of how well animal welfare requirements were followed in slaughterhouses during one week in September 2013.

The results showed an improved picture compared to the 2011 survey – 96% of red meat slaughterhouses and 96% of white meat slaughterhouses were compliant with the animal welfare regulations, compared to 86% and 84% respectively for 2011. While there have been positive shifts in compliance, there are still areas where improvements are required.

Other key findings of the survey:

CCTV uptake for animal welfare monitoring has increased since the 2011 survey.
There has been a significant increase in the proportion of poultry slaughtered using the gas stunning method – this method has animal welfare benefits over traditional waterbath stunning. The gas method is now used for 71% of poultry slaughter.
The number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter (allowed in accordance with religious rites) accounted for 2% of cattle, 15% of sheep and goats, and 3% of poultry.

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