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Meat from more than 90,000 animals killed by non-stun could have been on UK shelves

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) report said it was unclear whether or not hindquarters from animals killed for kosher certified meat were ‘generally sent on for wider consumption’.

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Meat from more than 90,000 animals killed non-stun could have been on shelves

Meat from more than 90,000 animals killed by non-stun slaughter could have been sold on British supermarket shelves without the consumer being aware.

 

The figures were revealed by UK government yesterday (February 14) and stated the 90,500 animals slaughtered for religious purposes in England – 84,000 of which were chickens – could have been stocked without sufficient labelling.

 

The announcement followed pressure from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and RSPCA to release the findings, which were due last autumn.

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) report said it was unclear whether or not hindquarters from animals killed for kosher certified meat were ‘generally sent on for wider consumption’.


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Dr Marc Cooper, head of farm animals at the RSPCA, said: “The report highlights that over 94 million animals were slaughtered without stunning in 2018 – that is an average of three animals every second.

 

“What is particularly disturbing is that 90,000 of the 2.9 million non-stunned animals slaughtered for kosher certified meat were rejected as being ‘unfit for religious consumption’.

 

Concerns

“We are concerned that this mean could be entering the conventional market unlabelled.”

 

He said because there was no current legal requirement to label meat which had been slaughtered without stunning, consumers were ‘unaware they are buying meat produced in this way’.

 

And the proportion of animals which had been stunned prior to slaughter for halal meat in 2018 had seen a significant drop from previous years.

About 762,231 non-stun slaughtered sheep are being exported, something Dr Cooper said he believed ‘breaches the spirit of the law which allows an exemption for religious communities which we believe should only apply to those in the UK’.

 

It came as the European Parliament ‘called on the commission to ensure that stunning is performed, without exception, before religious ritual slaughter in all member states’.

 

Dr Cooper added: “This report highlights the serious welfare, trade and consumer concerns around the practice of non-stun slaughter in this country.

 

“We have seen how some countries such as New Zealand have a vibrant export trade in stunned meat to Muslim countries such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia showing that trade need not be a barrier to better protection of farm animals.”

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