Pet owners may unwittingly be buying non-stunned meat for their animals even while they avoid meat killed by the controversial method for their own diet.
Despite the debate about labelling of food for human consumption after restaurants and producers of food for large groups said they often use halal meat, there are no plans for pet food to be labelled to provide consumers with the transparency they want.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, the pet food industry uses animal by-products from the human food chain in the production of pet food. These materials come from animals slaughtered in licensed abattoirs under veterinary supervision, but are surplus to the requirements of consumers in the UK.
And they admit that some of the by product will come from animals which have not been stunned prior to slaughter.
A spokesman explained to Breitbart London, ‘once by-products are created the segregation of stunned and non-stunned meat ceases. It is therefore not possible for the majority of manufacturers to categorically state whether or not non-stunned meat has entered the pet food supply chain.
‘Currently there are no requirements in the human food chain to identify method of slaughter including pre-slaughter stunning. Therefore the pet food industry is unable to differentiate between different methods of slaughter.’
But a number of pet owners have voiced their concern, saying they consciously avoid halal food for their own meals and do not want to feed their pets meat which has not been killed in the most humane way possible.
One such person is Chris Davies, a cat owner who says he “consciously avoids” buying halal or non stunned food. He called for the labelling of pet food, saying, “I am disappointed to think that I could be feeding my cats by products from a slaughter house where they don’t pre stun the animals.”
And a member of staff for a chain of veterinary surgeries said she would be “upset” to find out she had been feeding her animals meat which was not stunned before it was killed. ” I want to know no animal has suffered for it” she said, adding, ” human food should be and animal food should be too.”
Scientific research has clearly shown that slaughter of an animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering, and the RSPCA is opposed to the slaughter of any animal without first making it insensible to pain and distress.
At present, the only legal exemptions to stunning during slaughter exist for kosher and Halal methods of slaughter. But following the release of a video showing vile abuse of animals in a halal abattoir, the calls for the end to exemptions have been increasing with UKIP now openly calling for a ban.
An RSPCA spokeswoman told Breitbart London, “Unfortunately there is almost no labelling in any pet food about the welfare of the animals used to provide the ingredients.
“Most Halal slaughter in the UK does involve pre-stunning so just using the label ‘Halal’ would not provide enough information to the purchaser about the slaughter method used.
“In an ideal world we would like to see labelling about slaughter methods on all food, including pet food.”
“We are currently urging the public to sign the HM Government petition calling for an end to slaughter without pre-stunning. Non-stun slaughter can cause considerable suffering and we believe this practice should be banned once and for all.”