back to article EU slaughterhouses may get animal welfare officers

Those of you who feel that slaughterhouses don't treat their Death Row inmates as well as might be expected will be delighted to learn that the EU is suggesting that abattoirs be obliged to appoint "special officers for animal welfare". That's according to EUobserver, which quotes European Commission proposals unveiled yesterday …

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Coat

Get ready...

'...require owners to deploy "a specific person responsible for animal welfare and ensure that their staff are properly trained and certified".'

Shouldn't the staff also be vetted?

Mine's the one with the happy cow in the pocket.

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Go

Industrialised Slaughter

Talk about intrinsic contradictions. We have had this ratchetting of regulation of slaughter which has meant that smaller abattoires have been closed down coz of the red tape. Instead, beasts are often trucked 50 miles or more to the mega-slaughteries, arriving there p***ed of from a long trip in the back of a truck, annoyed and wound up rather than chilled about meeting their maker and my breakfast plate.

The single biggest animal welfare measure would be to re-open the smaller, local abattoires so that the animals can be dispatched in a nice cozy atmosphere.

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Coat

Bovine University

"Now Mr. cow, would you prefer to be a burger or a sausage?"

"Moo."

"Excellent. Smythe, make with the electrodes."

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Boffin

meat is murder

fuck your meaty murder

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Silver badge

local produce

It'd be good if they could sort out the problem of not having many small, local abattoirs or a local slaughterer who is licensed to visit farms.

Many people who want to raise small amounts of cattle are put off by the lack of local facilities.

It's far better not to have the animals travel long distances to be killed and cut up then have all the bits transported back again. Waste of time, money and fuel.

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No more halal and kosher then?

Can we hope that this will mean the end of halal and kosher slaughtering of animals whilst they are still conscious?

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Tim
Paris Hilton

Might I suggest slaughterhouses employ ninja's!

Ninja's can put their devastating skills, to devastating effect and the lucky animal will not know that its been devastated until it hits the ground!

Paris, because there's no ninja icon!

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And guess what ?

Our brilliant politicians will spot an opportunity for more regulation and impose gold-plated rules on our businesses. Meanwhile, our neighbours across the channel will ... shrug.

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Silver badge

And the next time Foot & Mouth strikes?

Will there be welfare officers accompanying the teams slaughtering everything that moves?

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Alert

Hmmm... Blood!

This is not new in the UK. Most slaughterhouses over here have had animal welfare officers for very many years. As with everything else, they are monitored constantly.

The on site facilities are designed to try to reduce the amount of distress that animals are subjected to - they are also allowed access to feed and water. If an animal is displaying signs that would give the AWO cause for concern, he / she can order it to removed and placed in an area where it can be observed and allowed to recover.

Of course that doesn't mean that abuse doesn't happen; but it does reduce it considerably.

For info, I was IT manager in a slaughter house for nearly 5 years. I have many tales of crawling through the less attractive parts of the site to fix faulty connections etc. Sort of a BOFH with green wellies!

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Flame

All about wonga and meat yield.

"As a society we have a duty of care towards animals, which includes minimising distress and avoiding pain throughout the slaughtering process."

Well after ramming a bolt through the skull and then carving up the carcass with large blades, I can imagine there is not much welfare to worry about really? At the end of the day it's BS, as I believe there is slim proof that if the animals are too stressed at slaughter, the meat quaility is supposedly affected and the price it fetches goes down.

( Doesn't bother me either way, I'm a sad loser veggie! )

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Err

You mean like the Vet that all UK slaughterhouses have anyway?

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Coat

Beef!

How low can you go?

Hear the cattle cry - Death Row.

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Jobs Halo

what about halal?

A butcher in south london has a big sign outside that reads "we guarantee our meat is not stunned".

What's the point having animal welfare standards when we turn a blind eye to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals that aren't stunned and often suffer very distressing lingering deaths.

We need two rules:

1. butchers should only be allowed to sell meat from animals that are treated humanely and stunned before slaughter, and if you don't like that you can eat vegetables.

and if we can't do that because it might upset a few people then:

2. anywhere that sells halal meat, or products made from halal meat should be required to display a very prominent warning sign so that people can make an informed choice. Having started to ask recently I've been amazed at the number of retailers selling sandwiches, pies, burgers, chicken etc that do contain Halal - yet this is not obvious from the packaging or the premises. Then again, maybe I need to change my diet...

Steve Jobs, because he only eats Fruit.

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Thumb Up

Having visited slaughter houses

on a number of occasions and seen how the animals get treated, I'm all in favour of this. No, I'm not a veggie...

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Stop

Err Err

Or like the Bristol University Trained Welfare Officers we have been forced to have for years?

Come get a life or at least a story from this century.

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IT Angle

What?

I'm all for treating animals humanely. But this sounds like another bureaucracy. A little bit here and a little bit there and soon enough there will be a Human Waste Disposal Officer to make sure I flush my pee in the proper manner. Governments have too much time on their hands.

To dave lawless: I suggest you eat a nice steak or 12. The protein and B12 deficiency you have seems to be affecting your common sense.

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Linux

Home Slaughter

I'm mostly veggie with the exception of the animals I raise and slaughter at home. I can see the point the gov are making but take issue with it to the extent that I agree with the previous statements about the loss of local facilities. It should be easy for a community to put up a small hygenic building for non-profit slaughter of animals close to home but the regulations as they stand at the moment only make it economical for large facilities operating for the the meat industry to exist. The burden of paperwork for most animal movements - never mind slaughter makes life very difficult for the smallholder and limits the type and number of animals it is economical to keep. This is a half-measure that will do little to address the fundemental problems with animal welfare at slaughter, such as the large distances a beast must be transported and the long queue to meet it's end standing in the miasma of death outside an abbatoir.

Tux - because I like to eat little birds

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Coat

The only rights animals have...

Is to be tasty off the grill.

Raised on a farm, unimpressed by veggies.

Mine's the one with a 22 pistol in the pocket.

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Hooray !!

At last !! The Financial Industry is getting what it needed all this time !! I'll help you sharpen the knives, boys !!

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Thumb Down

Sick

Halal should be illegal.

We can't even sort out underaged forced marriage, so what hope have we got of banning barbaric medieval practices like Halal though?

PC gone mad.

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Stunningly useless

The poultry industry knows its current two-stage method of despatching chickens is not the most humane, as some birds are sentient after being hung upside down, sprayed with water and electrocuted - which is supposed to render them unconscious. It also knows what the most humane method of despatch is.

Gassing. I hope every rational commentard will write to their MPs in support of this method. If you are going to be so cruel to an animal as to kill it, you've really no business torturing it first.

I do wonder where the job satisfaction is going to come from in these new hyperreal jobs.

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Flame

I get it

It's qualludes and psychologists for all the patients right before treatment.

Those of you who aren't meat eaters; get over it. You're only punishing the environment by murdering plants by the millions.

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Anonymous Coward

Bohad!

Why don't they just tell the bulls that paradise lies beyond the saws? That there are no fences on the other side, and every bull gets 20 cows.

On a more serious note, I think this is a step in the right direction. But I refuse to eat meat until the slaughter houses are required to have several masseuses on hand, to provide comfort to the cows. The cows should be relaxed and happy at the ending.

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Jobs Horns

RE: what about halal

"Steve Jobs, because he only eats Fruit."

Where does Steve Jobs get protein then? Whoops, maybe I don't want to know...

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Tom
Silver badge

As someone who raises his own food

the worst thing that happens to my animals is the trip to the slaughterhouse.

They live a fairly spoilt life on my smallholding, have 20 minutes of discomfort in the trailer and walk into the abbatoir, turn a corner and buzz. So why do I put them through this 20 minutes - because according to the damn law I cant even give my meat away* unless its 'checked' by a vet. And every other piece of meat I can get has gone through that or worse.

As for halal meat: you can stun the animal and still have halal meat - the requirement is to drain the blood and that works just as well with stunning.

If the EU was really concerned with animal welfare it would stop making laws for the benefit of big business

*seems to be a problem with geeks this!

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Stop

level playing field for operators - right

It is the same old EU level playing field for member states crap. Can't be having a member state gaining a competitive advantage by cheap treatment of animals. All states must be equally burdened by regulation be it welfare officers for slaughter houses or how much rubbish they are allowed to put in holes in their ground.

Having torn down borders to allow free trade we must ensure all member states are equally uncompetitive so free trade is more or less pointless.

The EU - a marvelous invention providing an enormous trough for politicians and their servants which allowed uncompetitive states to continue to be uncompetitive.

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Anonymous Coward

Shame on you

Sirs!

In the recent past several TV-documentaries from inside slaughterhouses have revealed the most appalling conditions for the animals. Mistreatment and torture is, alas, also true for the transport of animals. I find your caption, 'Feeling ok? Any last requests?' to be grossly inappropriate. You should feel shame for trying to make fun of the efforts to regulate the treatment of animals, even those on their last journey.

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Easy does it

I gather some European abattoirs are onto it, but here in New Zealand most go to considerable lengths to keep animals calm before slaughtering, to minimise the adrenaline that demonstrably toughens the meat. A friend who was Production Manager for one of our major meat companies confirmed that there's a good market for meat that isn't tough!

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@Luthor Blissett

"Gassing. I hope every rational commentard will write to their MPs in support of this method." That what all those SS camp commandants said about their practices !! I hope you are proud of your suggestion !!

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Flame

The animals are about to die anyway...

...but I suppose we could retrain all those worthless bastard short-selling Trader tossers who have helped make my meager existence even worse.

Better yet, nobody has said anything about Trader Welfare officers being needed at abbatoirs...

Hmm, I'll have the pretty blonde one from the tv ads, with an apple in her gob and a side-salad please, garcon... ;-)

Spit-roast all the little illegitimii!

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Flame

Halal - why in Britain???????

If we have a law stating how animals should be slaughtered here in Britain do we have a complete double standard - come on UK Gov........ the law is THE LAW - FULL STOP!!

If I have a goat and slit its throat before stunning it (in my back garden) I'm getting locked up by the RSPCA............ why is this different if I have religous beliefs then?????????

Mines the coat with the star of Jedi ...................... (in total disbelief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Anonymous Coward

Golgafrinchans...

This is just silly. My appologies to Monty Python..

Perhaps the animals, after entering the building could ride a conveyor in extreme comfort past murals depicting mediteranian scenes towards the rotating knives.

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@ Ishkandar

What a ludicrous comment. Are you implying that because SS commandants used gas, it shouldn't be used for animals? They also used pens to record information about those they had killed. Shall we ban those? RAA, QED.

Put an animal in a nitrogen atmosphere (i.e. with no oxygen)and it'll slowly pass away with no stress whatsoever (witness the euphoria felt by humans under the same circumstances). If I ever were to contemplate suicide, it'd be my route of choice.

O

PS, flames because there wouldn't be any in my death chamber

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Re small local slaughterhouse

I doubt that big industry would allow the EU to allow small local slaughterhouses.

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