FSA welfare survey of slaughterhouses shows “improved picture”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today published the results of its 2013 animal welfare survey of slaughterhouses in Britain, showing an improvement on the previous survey.

Today’s results show that 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.

Commenting that the latest results show an improved picture compared to the 2011 survey, FSA added: “While there have been positive shifts in compliance, there are still areas where improvements are required.”

Key findings of the survey are:

  • 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.

Access full FSA report

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