Publication - FOI/EIR release

Statistics of mis-stunned animals in Scottish slaughterhouses: FOI release

Published: 21 Feb 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
21 Feb 2019
Statistics of mis-stunned animals in Scottish slaughterhouses: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00238
Date received: 23 Jan 2019
Date responded: 20 Feb 2019
Information requested

 

1. What was the total number of mis-stunned animals, including chickens, cattle, pork and sheep at slaughter both last year 2018, and for the year before that 2017 in Scotland? This refers to all the animals listed above that were not stunned correctly at point of Slaughter in Scotland. The figure can be presented as a percentage of all the animals slaughtered, or as a number.

2. Is there a legal obligation in Scotland for all Abattoirs to record the number of animals that were mis-stunned at point of slaughter?

3. If the answer to question 2 above is yes, then is this information then passed to the Scottish Government Rural Directorate Animal Health and Welfare?

4. Are the methods used to stun animals prior to slaughter set in Scottish Law or does Scotland follow EU Law in this specific matter?

5. What was the total number of animals slaughtered in Scotland in 2018, and for the year before that 2017?

 

 

Response

 

The following provides most of the information you requested.

1.    What was the total number of mis-stunned animals, including chickens, cattle, pork and sheep at slaughter both last year 2018, and for the year before that 2017 in Scotland? This refers to all the animals listed above that were not stunned correctly at point of Slaughter in Scotland. The figure can be presented as a percentage of all the animals slaughtered, or as a number.

A.    The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested for this question.  Food Standards Scotland, as the enforcement agency for welfare at slaughter, may be able to assist with this information.

The reasons why we don’t have this information are explained in the Annex to this letter.

 

2.    Is there a legal obligation in Scotland for all Abattoirs to record the number of animals that were mis-stunned at point of slaughter?

A.    There is a legal obligation under Articles 5 of Council Regulation EC 1099/2009 for business operators to perform checks on stunning to ensure that animals show no signs of consciousness or sensibility between the end of the stunning process and death.

There is an obligation under Article 6 of that Regulation for business operators to draw up and implement Standard Operating Procedures which specify the measures to be taken where animals show signs of consciousness or sensibility between the end of the stunning process and death.  Standard Operating Procedures must be made available to Food Standards Scotland on request.

The Scottish Government understands that Food Standards Scotland conducts regular checks on these Standard Operating Procedures and when found to be deficient, adequate and proportionate enforcement action is taken.

 

3.    If the answer to question 2 above is yes, then is this information then passed to the Scottish Government Rural Directorate Animal Health and Welfare?

A.    Quarterly reports on the Animal Welfare Issues identified at slaughterhouses, including where such issues did not arise in the slaughterhouse are compiled by Food Standards Scotland and passed to the Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division for information.  The Scottish Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Division does not routinely retain copies of these reports.

 

4.    Are the methods used to stun animals prior to slaughter set in Scottish Law or does Scotland follow EU Law in this specific matter?

A.    The methods permitted for the stunning of animals prior to slaughter are set out in Annex 1 of Council Regulation EC 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.

The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (Scotland) Regulations 2012 implements the use of Council Regulation EC 1099/2009 in Scotland whilst maintaining all national rules that go beyond the EU Regulation.

 

5.    What was the total number of animals slaughtered in Scotland in 2018, and for the year before that 2017?

A.    Information on the total number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered in Scotland in 2017 and 2018 can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/cattle-sheep-and-pig-slaughter

Information on the total number of poultry slaughtered in the United Kingdom in 2017 and 2018 can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/poultry-and-poultry-meat-statistics

 

ANNEX

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

 

The Scottish Government does not have the information

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the Scottish Government does not carry out the supervisory function of slaughter in Scottish slaughterhouses.  Official Veterinarians from Food Standards Scotland monitor and enforce the welfare regulations in all approved Scottish slaughterhouses on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.  

 

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG