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BVA responds to Belgium’s decision on non-stun slaughter
"Our focus on this has nothing to do with the expression of religious beliefs but is about finding ways to reduce the welfare harm of non-stun slaughter"
John Fishwick says move shows strength of feeling on the issue

BVA president John Fishwick says Belgium’s decision on non-stun slaughter shows a domestic ban within EU law would be possible.

A ban on non-stun slaughter was implemented on New Year’s Day in the Flanders region of the country. The move followed legislation passed by Belgium’s parliament in July 2017.  

Similar restrictions are expected to be implemented in the Wallonia region from September.

Mr Fishwick said: “Belgium follows several other countries including Iceland, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark in its decision to ban the slaughter of animals without prior stunning.

“This shows that there is considerable strength of feeling on the issue and that a ban would be possible within domestic law of EU member states.”
 
He continued: “BVA would like to see all animals stunned before slaughter and this call has received widespread support from the veterinary profession and general public, including a petition with over 120,000 signatures. Our focus on this has nothing to do with the expression of religious beliefs but is about finding ways to reduce the welfare harm of non-stun slaughter.
 
“If slaughter without stunning continues to be permitted in the UK, then meat and fish from this source must be clearly labelled, to help customers make informed choices about the food that they buy and eat.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”