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BVA sets out welfare at slaughter policy

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By Josh Loeb

A long-awaited new welfare at slaughter policy has been published by the BVA – covering everything from lairage to food labelling to non-stun slaughter.

The document runs to 70 pages and lists 67 recommendations covering a wide range of issues (see box), including – for the first time – proposals relating to the humane killing of fish.

Ahead of possible changes to the UK’s Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (WATOK) regulations, the BVA wants the government to provide ‘specific legislative protections’ for the welfare of farmed finfish at slaughter.

In addition, the association is calling for more research into developing effective and humane methods of stunning for decapods (shrimp, lobsters and crabs), cephalopods (squid and octopus) and wild-caught fish.

The policy also calls for better monitoring and data capture in abattoirs and highlights the potential for promising new technologies to revolutionise how animals are dispatched.

Technologies mentioned include low atmosphere pressure stunning, which …

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