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Non-stun slaughter: the elephant in the room
  1. Alexander Trees, Veterinary editor-in-chief

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The recent question I posed in the House of Lords, ‘What is the government doing to minimise the number of animals slaughtered without stunning in UK abattoirs?’,1 is but the latest attempt to focus attention on a practice which the vast majority of veterinary and scientific opinion regards as inhumane.

At a time when the government and the current Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has put animal welfare firmly as a priority and has demonstrated that by announcing a number of progressive measures – notably compulsory CCTV in all abattoirs, increased sanctions for animal welfare offences, and recognition of animal sentience – it is timely to challenge the government about non-stun slaughter. It is the elephant in the room.

This is, of course, a difficult issue because of its …

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