Almost two-thirds of food companies have no information on their commitment to stunning animals before slaughter.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said it was concerned the figures, published in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report, revealed only four per cent had a ‘universal commitment’ to pre-stunning.
Slaughter without pre-stunning is the only welfare measure showing a decline in the percentage of food companies which have a specific policy on the practice, down from 34 per cent in 2014 to 32 per cent in 2015, according to the report.
The BVA has been campaigning to end non-stun slaughter in the UK, with a public petition in 2015 gaining 120,000 signatures.
The association’s president Sean Wensley said the report highlighted a ‘disappointing lack of commitment towards animal welfare at the time of slaughter.’
“The European Commission’s study of 13,500 meat consumers across Europe found that 72 per cent wanted information about the stunning of animals at slaughter. Food companies need to sit up and take consumers’ concerns about humane slaughter seriously.
“People want to be assured that farmed animals receive both a good life and a humane death.”
Reassuringly, the report found companies were increasingly seeing farm animal welfare as an important part of their business model, with 69 per cent having published welfare policies and 54 per cent publishing welfare targets.