Calling for an end to non-stun slaughter

Slaughter without pre-stunning can cause suffering to millions of farm animals in the UK. We are opposed to this practice and have supported an HM Government petition by the British Veterinary Association calling for an end to non-stun slaughter once and for all.

The petition achieved over 118,000 signatures and was debated by Parliament in February 2015.

Slaughter without pre-stunning causes suffering

Broiler chicken © RSPCA

Scientific evidence clearly shows that slaughter without pre-stunning is an important animal welfare concern.

In 2003, the government’s independent advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council stated that non-stun slaughter results in ‘very significant pain and distress’.

Therefore, this practice puts the millions of farm animals killed without pre-stunning at risk of serious suffering.

We must introduce a full ban

European and UK legislation requires all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter to render them unconscious until death supervenes.

However, exemptions are allowed which permit non-stun slaughter for religious purposes e.g. for Muslim and Jewish communities.

However, if the UK governments were to ban completely slaughter without pre-stunning we wouldn’t be the first country to take such a stand against this practice.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have all introduced legislation making pre-stunning a requirement before slaughter with no exceptions. A move that helps protect the welfare of millions of farm animals.

Our concern is animal welfare

We recognise that religious beliefs and practices should be respected. However, we also believe animals should be slaughtered under the most humane conditions possible.

Our concern does not relate to the expression of religious belief but to the animal welfare compromise associated with the practice of killing by throat cutting without pre-stunning. In fact, over 80 per cent of Halal slaughter, the method used by the Muslim religion, is pre-stunned in the UK.

The Halal Food Authority has a clear ‘no stunning to kill policy’, which means pre-stunning is permitted when the stun is used only used to make the animal unconscious and not to kill them. This highlights that pre-stunning and slaughter for religious purposes can work together.

Take action

We’re supporting Slaughterhouse Reform’s petition calling for compulsory animal welfare labelling including method of slaughter.

Find out more on our #StunB4slaughter campaign page and join us in speaking out for millions of farm animals!

Eloise Shavelar, RSPCA Campaigner

(Updated: 11 December 2015)

25 Responses to “Calling for an end to non-stun slaughter”

  • wendy williams

    Please ban this act of pure cruelty…

  • Ines Soares

    Animal welfare needs to come before any religious believes.

  • Melanie beadle-hewson

    It is inhumane .

  • kerry doyle

    I don’t care about religious reasons in Britain we stun before slaughter so why should they get away with it. If I slaughtered an animal that way I would be arrested. BAN BAN BAN

  • Cindy Nicholls

    Stop this cruelty

  • .David Lowe

    Stop this disgusting practice. We do not wish to live in the stone age as this religion advocates.

  • Lance Kerr

    I will support till the cows come home anyone who helps rid the world of the barbaric practice of HALAL killing. It is not acceptable to not stun animals before slaughter.

  • Lisa

    This needs to stop now.

  • Margaret Ferguson

    Please stop this, the animals are suffering enough without this.

  • Lesley perry

    Stop it now ! !

  • Carole Smith

    Stop pandering to outdated religious beliefs and think of the pain of the creatures that sustain us, stop worrying about “offending” all tha blasted time and STOP IT NOW.

  • lynn farrag

    please stop this brutal practice,in Britain we stun brfore slaughter this is the only way .it is animal crulty.Animal welfare should be put before any religious believes.

  • geoff blanc

    why is the rspca essentially ducking the halal issue, its very active in other areas but quite light on this i fact it cannot even bear to us eteh naem and simply piggyback sother petitions

  • Lynda Healey

    We must not be cowed and bullied into letting this creep into normal practice in the UK. Legislation was brought about in the UK as far back as 1890 to protect animals at slaughter from unnecessary suffering. People who will gain financially have begun alleging that compassion is now entitled islamaphobia (but there is no such word) and racist. It is NOT one race that eats halal but Arabs, Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, Indonesians and so on……….it is outdated, archaic, unecessary muslim custom which should have been consigned to the grisly, shameful Horrible History books in this 2014.

  • A Turner

    Stop this brutal slaughter practice. Religious beliefs should not be forced on the majority!

  • Maria Nerdrum-Harrison

    Animal welfare must come first!

    Not stunning an animal and having their throats cut is cruel.

    Research shows that an animal can live up to 4-5 minutes after the animal’s throat has been cut. Can you imagine the pain and suffering during those final minutes?

    Why should we accept this type of slaughter?

    Animal welfare MUST be the priority and not the cost or because of religion. Religious slaughter belongs to an ancient practice, which must be BANNED!!!!!

  • Gerald White

    What about shooting animals, e.g. rabbits, hares, deers, pigeons during hunting and then killing them for cooking? are there any regulations against that?

  • hasip

    This inhumane act needs to stop now! animals should not have to go through more pain and suffering then required.

  • A. Middleton

    This is a disgrace. The welfare of animals is of paramount importance before any religious beliefs.Stand up for the wishes of the majority of decent people in this country government, and protect the decency and beliefs for which we here in this country are famous, and lead the world in.

  • Brenda Kobylarek

    How can any religion insist on killing an animal whilst still alive. I thought religion was all about compassion and kindness to all species. Ban this inhumane practice now,

  • Bruce Gau

    Be humain in all interactions with non-humans.

  • Judy Jones

    Religions have no right to force their ways on other people. I really hope the non-stun slaughter of animals is banned forever! All we should consider is that if you had to be killed, which method would you rather have? The sooner so called ‘humans’ start treating all life with respect, not just their own kind, the better this world would be.

  • This widely held concern is not about ‘tradition’ or ‘culture’ or even ‘religion’, it is about ANIMAL CRUELTY and must be BANNED as a matter of urgency. so much cruelty is perpetuated in the name of ‘culture’, ‘tradition’ (i.e. fox hunting/hare coursing). The Tories are and will always be bad news for animals – they’ve got to GO!

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