§ 23. Mr. Bulmer
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has now received a report from the Farm Animal Welfare Council on conditions and practices in British slaughterhouses.
§ Mrs. Fenner
My colleagues and I have recently received from the Farm Animal Welfare Council a report on the welfare of poultry at slaughter. Arrangements are being made by the council for the report to be published early in the new year. The council has now gone on to consider the slaughter of red meat animals and will be reporting in due course on this second stage of its review of the welfare of livestock at the time of slaughter.
§ Mr. Bulmer
Will my hon. Friend press the urgency of the report? Does she accept that many people believe that all animals should be stunned prior to slaughter?
§ Mrs. Fenner
The FAWC, having just completed its report on poultry slaughter, submitted it late in October. It will now have started its inquiries into the slaughter of red meat animals and will produce the report as quickly as possible. However, we must remember that the council's wide membership has other interests and commitments to visit slaughterhouses for meetings and so on, so I do not expect that the report will be ready until the second half of 1982.
§ Mr. Hal Miller
Is there not widespread concern that the requirements in some slaughterhouses are not being enforced as rigidly as in others, and that, apart from animal welfare considerations, there is a health risk?