The Welsh Government has launched its plans to protect the welfare of animals at the time of their slaughter. A six-week consultation has opened, seeking views on how the country can maintain welfare standards.

The Welsh Government has launched its plans to protect the welfare of animals at the time of their slaughter.

The Welsh Government hopes to maintain its high welfare standards for animals at slaughterPart of the plans – launched by environment minister in Wales John Griffiths yesterday (September 24, 2012) – is a six-week consultation, which aims to seek views on how the country can maintain its high welfare standards for animals that are slaughtered there for human consumption.

According to the Welsh Government, the consultation is in response to EU regulations – due to come in force on January 1, 2013 – which will set minimum European standards for the treatment of animals at the time of their killing.

The consultation seeks views on:

  • The legal obligations in regulations 1099/2099
  • plans to implement stricter rules to help maintain current welfare standards in Wales where these are already higher than in EU Regulation 1099/2009
  • the gathering of information about non stun method of slaughter, and
  • criminal and administrative sanctions and penalties for the breaching of these rules.

Speaking of the plans, Mr Griffiths said: “While we welcome the EU regulation to improve the treatment of animals at the time of their killing across Europe, we are keen to ensure that the best welfare standards are achieved for animals at the time of their slaughter here in Wales.
 
“We also want to look at the welfare of the very small percentage of animals that are currently slaughtered in Wales without stunning and whether we can improve welfare in these instances. These are emotive issues for a range of groups, so I would urge anyone with an interest to feed into the consultation.”

Those with interest will include food businesses, livestock and poultry keepers, the veterinary profession and animal welfare groups, said the Welsh Government.

The consultation closes on November 5, and can be accessed on the Welsh Government website. The public is also invited to respond.

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