Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

BVA calls for change on animal welfare at slaughter
The updated policy spans a wide variety of species.

Updated policy includes recommendations for farmed and wild-caught fish.

The BVA has published a comprehensive policy outlining 67 recommendations to improve the welfare of animals slaughter.

The new policy comes ahead of an upcoming DEFRA review of England's Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing regulations (WATOK).

Building on current legislation, BVA's latest position focuses on the final events of an animal's life, suggesting amendments to the vital role of the Official Veterinarian and the provision of suitable abattoir facilities.

The policy also makes recommendations for the preparation, transport and acceptance for slaughter, handling operations and effective stunning. Other suggestions relate to non-stun slaughter, the improved regulation of stunning, and consumer education.

“With millions of animals slaughtered each year to provide us with the food we eat, we have a responsibility to provide them with a life worth living and a humane death,” explained BVA senior vice president, Simon Doherty.

“Our updated position aims to do just that by building on existing legislation and guiding the industry in a direction that better protects the welfare of animals destined for the food chain."

The updated policy spans a wide variety of species, including fish for the first time. BVA calls on the UK government to include the effective stunning of farmed finfish, as well as general welfare protections in WATOK regulations.

The policy also pushes for more research into developing humane and effective ways to stun decapods (shrimp, lobsters and crabs), cephalopods (squid and octopus) and wild-caught fish.


Mr Doherty continued: “Slaughter processes should be designed to minimise avoidable pain, distress, fear, and suffering and this document looks at all of the ways that we as vets can work with industry bodies and farm colleagues to improve the legislation already in place.”

Research conducted in 2018 by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that 20 million animals, excluding fish, were slaughtered across 248 operating plants in England and Wales during a single week.

BVA’s new position sets out recommendations for a range of stakeholders, government, industry, researchers and the veterinary profession, at each stage of the slaughter process. Among the list of recommendations includes a call to improve the regulation of non-stun slaughter by working with Islamic scholars and Halal certification bodies.

Dr Doherty said: “From making sure that stunning methods are as effective as possible, to looking at the specific needs of each species, revalidation of training for operators, and championing the role of the Official Veterinarian, there is a lot of work to be done but we look forward to progressing these recommendations and working to improve the welfare of farmed animals across the UK.”

 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Tickets on sale for horse welfare conference

News Story 1
 Tickets are now on sale for the 'Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse' conference, due to take place at Nottingham University on Saturday, 11 December 2021.

World-renowned researchers, including Prof. Hilary Clayton and Dr Sue Dyson, will deliver the latest research updates. There will also be interactive Q&A sessions throughout the day, interactive polls and a fun evening of entertainment.

Organisers say that in the event of further coronavirus restrictions, day tickets will be transferred to livestream tickets. For more information about the conference and to book your place, click here.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SRUC to host virtual parasitology event for vet practices

Veterinary practices across the UK are being invited to an online CPD event hosted by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). The event will include a 30-minute discussion on parasitology by Professor Neil Foster, head of the department of veterinary and animal science in SRUC's North Faculty.

The event takes place via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, 16 September (6-7 pm). Certificates of CPD attendance will be provided, and a questionnaire will be distributed following the event with ideas for future events and courses. Click here for more information and to book a place.