Animals Slaughtered Without Stunning

Today the British Veterinary Association announced their disappointment at the EU decision NOT to make it compulsory for meat that has been slaughtered without being stunned to be appropriately labelled.

I've discussed this issue with many people and I've found that, often, folks are completely unaware that it is possible, in the UK, for meat to be slaughtered without prior stunning for 'religious reasons'. This bothers me. A lot.

Ignoring the theological arguments for a moment and the fact that it is widely considered to be inhumane to kill without stunning, the mere fact that certain laws can be by-passed in the name of religion really, really concerns me.

Now, add to that, the fact that the meat we buy could very well have been slaughtered in this manner and we are given NO RIGHT to actually learn this via the labelling and it makes me doubly upset.

BVA statement:

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has expressed its significant disappointment with the EU Council decision to scrap plans for compulsory labelling of meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.

In June the European Parliament voted on new food labelling rules including new country of origin labelling and a requirement to label meat from animals slaughtered without stunning (according to certain religious traditions).

At Monday’s meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels it was reported that the European Parliament amendment for the compulsory labelling of non-stunned meat and meat products had not been accepted in the Council’s Common Position.

Commenting, Harvey Locke, BVA President, said:

“This is a huge step backwards. The BVA believes that all animals should be stunned before slaughter. But as long as slaughter without stunning is permitted, consumers should have the right to make an informed choice.

“We hope that Members of the European Parliament will look at this issue again and push for compulsory labelling to be brought back into the plans.”

Firstly, animals being killed without stunning is a real concern for me.

Secondly, denying me the right to know that the meat on my table could have been killed in this manner is just absurd.

Yes, yes I know – I could choose any number of methods to avoid eating meat that may have been killed inhumanely and I do do research in to the various policies of the supermarkets. But even so….remind me what year this is? Can anyone make a cohesive argument as to why meat slaughtered without stunning should not be – by law – labelled as such?

One Response

  1. Jaspy February 25, 2011

Leave a Comment!