British vets ask clarification on the matter of lamb exported
British Veterinary Association (BVA) is questioning the methods of slaughtering for animals whose meat is to be exported to Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia.
BVA believes that all exported meat should come from animals that have been stunned before slaughter, but there is current ambiguity around the details of the deal, which UK halal certification bodies it will involve and whether the meat that will be exported will come from stun or non-stun sources.
In an intervention in April, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) stated that it did not hold data on what percentage of meat from non-stun religious slaughter is exported.
In the UK and Europe, all animals must be stunned before slaughter, but there is a derogation for animals killed for religious purposes. Nevertheless, there are countries, such as Germany, where the law states that produce from non-stun slaughter cannot be exported being destined only to the local religious communities.
We welcome new trade deals that demonstrate the quality of UK agriculture, but we absolutely must not compromise on animal welfare. Animals slaughtered without stunning suffer unnecessary pain at the time of death. If non-stun slaughter is permitted under the derogation in the UK it should only be available for local communities and not for export.
BVA is calling for an end to all non-stun slaughter, but while it is still permitted we would like to see new laws to ban the export of non-stun meat such as those in Germany", commented BVA President John Fishwick. The professional body has asked for clarification on this subject to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, informs BVA in a press release.
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