The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is considering commissioning new research on consumers’ views on transparency in relation to animal welfare, while also strengthening its monitoring and reporting on animal welfare standards.
Both points will be decided on during the Agency’s next board meeting, which is due to take place in London on June 3.
The board will also debate the results of FSA’s newly published review of animal welfare standards in abattoirs, based on a programme of unannounced inspections of all slaughterhouses in Britain, which took place in February and March this year.
The inspections found that animal welfare standards in 267 businesses (87%) were considered good, while 38 businesses needed improvement. Just one business in England was described as “requiring urgent improvement”.
“Our inspections have shown that animal welfare is a priority for the vast majority of slaughterhouse owners and most of our staff are taking steps to check the right controls are in place,” said FSA’s chief operating officer, Jason Feeney. “Nevertheless these inspections have highlighted that there is room for improvement. We will continue to work with businesses and FSA staff to fix any problems as part of our zero tolerance approach to animal welfare breaches.”
The June 3 meeting will also examine a Farm Animal Welfare Committee opinion concerning the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses to “assess the welfare of farmed animals, and industry steps to improve the consistency and effectiveness of CCTV, which should include making footage available to FSA”.