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MPs call for labelling on slaughter method

April 14, 2019 7:13 PM

Amendment to demand labelling of method of slaughter

HSLD is pleased to see gathering support in parliament for clearer labelling of meat that comes from animals killed by religious non-stun slaughter methods.

21 MPs from various parties in March proposed an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to require the introduction of mandatory labelling indicating the slaughter method, and specifically whether the animal was stunned.

This follows 91 MPs in July 2018 signing a motion calling on the government to introduce a legal requirement for labelling to identify meat that has been pre-stunned before slaughter.

Both the current amendment and the 2018 motion reflect growing support in parliament for legislation to allow the public to be informed where meat they are purchasing does not meet animal welfare standards.

Animal welfare legislation currently in force requires all animals in the UK to be killed via stunning before slaughter - this is widely accepted as the method that best reduces suffering of the animal.

However, meat produced to meet Jewish and Muslim religious dietary requirements is exempted from the stunning requirement. The law currently does not mandate any labelling to indicate the method by which the animal was killed.

HSLD on animal welfare and stunning policy

HSLD strongly supports efforts to introduce mandatory labelling on the method of slaughter. We drafted an amendment to a Lib Dem motion on Improving Animal Welfare debated at the party's Autumn Conference 2018, to require the labelling of meat from animals that had been slaughtered without stunning. The amendment was not selected for a vote, but we were pleased to see those summating the debate at Conference speak sympathetically about our proposal.

We are encouraged by MPs' efforts to implement legislation on this matter. We hope that the government will not oppose the amendment to introduce a clause on Mandatory labelling of animal products as to slaughtering method into the Agriculture Bill, as it makes its way through parliament.