Completed petition Adequate funding to protect the welfare of farm animals in Welsh slaughterhouses
We call on the Welsh Government to provide adequate funding to protect the welfare of farm animals at the time of their slaughter in Wales.
The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (Wales) Regulations 2014 are meant to provide protection to animals at the time of their slaughter. To do so, they must be properly applied and enforced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and there must be sufficient funding for it to be able to carry out its duties under the Regulations.
At the moment the Welsh Government provides the FSA with only £20,000 per annum to protect animal welfare at slaughter across at least 23 Welsh slaughterhouses jointly slaughtering tens of millions of animals each year. This is a pitiful amount and entirely inadequate to cover all that is required including effective monitoring of welfare practice, investigation, enforcement,legal advice, and the staffing to do so. The amounts provided are far below what the FSA has itself indicated (in Board papers) that it needs to carry out its duties regarding welfare of animals at slaughter.
There is much evidence from undercover investigations in slaughterhouses elsewhere in the UK that welfare regulations are frequently breached and that many animals suffer abuse. There is no reason to suppose that these risks do not also arise in Welsh slaughterhouses.
The public has a right to expect that welfare regulations are thoroughly and consistently applied. The Welsh Government must urgently review its funding of the FSA for this purpose, and significantly increase funding to protect animal welfare at slaughter without delay.
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