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Huge rise in animals killed without stunning
Welfare at slaughter is one of the most pressing health and welfare concern for vets.

Vets raise ‘grave concern’ 

New figures released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show a marked rise in the number of animals killed without pre-stunning.

Analysis of the figures by the BVA has revealed that between April and June this year, almost a quarter (24.4 per cent) of sheep and goats had their throats slit without first being made numb to pain.
This is up 15 per cent on 2013, when the EU and UK adopted legislation allowing an exemption for animals that are slaughtered for religious reasons.

The FSA figures also show that the number of chickens being slaughtered with pre-stunning soared from three per cent in 2013 to 18.5 per cent in 2017.

“This huge increase in the number of sheep, goats and poultry that are not stunned or not stunned effectively before slaughter is a grave concern to our profession. Millions of individual animals are affected, making this a major animal welfare issue,” commented BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

“The supply of meat from animals that have not been stunned massively outstrips the demand from the communities for which it is intended and is entering the mainstream market unlabelled.”

She continues: “In the light of these official figures we reiterate our call for all animals to be stunned before slaughter. If slaughter without stunning is still to be permitted, any meat from this source must be clearly labelled and the supply of non-stun products should be matched with demand.”

According to the BVA’s latest Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, welfare at slaughter is one of the most pressing health and welfare concern for vets.

The BVA has long-campaigned for the re-introduction of legislation that guarantees all animals are stunned before slaughter on welfare grounds. But while laws exist to allow slaughter without pre-stunning, the organisation is calling for comprehensive labelling on any fish or meat products from this source. This will enable customers to understand the choice they are making when buying such products, it adds. 

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Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

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News Shorts
AWF named charity of the year

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has been chosen as charity of the year by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA). AWF is a vet-led charity, supported by the BVA, which aims to improve animal welfare though research funding, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on welfare issues.

VMA has pledged a range of support, including raising awareness and funds at their awards ceremony, which takes place on Friday 16 March, as well as offering marketing support through VMA marketing workshops.