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The BVA’s policy on non-stun slaughter is clear. The association is opposed to non-stun slaughter – full stop. Indeed, it believes non-stun slaughter should be banned.
That’s hardly surprising. In general, there is consensus among vets that non-stun methods of slaughtering livestock are worse for welfare than using a captive bolt gun, electrical waterbath or other means of rendering an animal insensible to pain before slaughtering it.
However, ‘in general’ is the operative phrase. In one specific area – namely, non-stun slaughter of poultry – that consensus appears less strong. Several vets who are implacably opposed to non-stun slaughter of cattle and sheep have acknowledged that the situation as regards birds is more complex.
Some senior vets have told me they ‘don’t really have a problem’ …
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