The British Veterinary Association has welcomed the European Parliament vote to improve the labelling of food, including new country of origin labelling and a requirement to label meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the European Parliament vote to improve the labelling of food, including new country of origin labelling and a requirement to label meat from animals slaughtered without stunning (according to certain religious traditions).
The European Parliament voted in favour of labelling rules that will enable consumers to make healthy, well-informed choices – which includes information regarding meat from slaughter without stunning. The final vote in parliament was 559 in favour, 54 against and 32 abstentions.
The draft EU legislation, as adopted on June 16, will also see country of origin labelling extended to all meat, poultry, dairy products and other single-ingredient products as well as all meat, poultry and fish when used as an ingredient in processed food. Importantly, meat labels should indicate where the animal was born, reared and slaughtered.
In a statement released today (June 17), the BVA stated its belief that all animals should be effectively stunned before slaughter. However, as long as slaughter without stunning is permitted the association has argued for any meat from this source to be clearly labelled so consumers fully understand the choice they are making when purchasing such products.
Further, the BVA called for one clear EU welfare label that takes into account the welfare of animals use in food production from birth to slaughter, including the production system, transport and method of slaughter.
BVA president Bill Reilly said: “This is a huge step forward in improving the welfare of animals at slaughter. The more consumers understand these issues, the more consumer power can make a difference.
“The BVA has argued for some time for meat from animals slaughtered without the more-humane method of stunning should be labelled as such and we are delighted that the European Parliament supports this view. However, there are many issues associated with the welfare of animals in food production and the BVA would like to see the development of a clear welfare label that consumers recognise as a mark of higher animal welfare.
“Currently there are too many different labels that mean different things, which can be confusing for shoppers. One higher welfare label would go a long way to improving consumer choice and animal welfare.”