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EU slaughterhouses may get animal welfare officers

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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 to "integrate welfare considerations into the design of slaughterhouses" and require owners to deploy "a specific person responsible for animal welfare and ensure that their staff are properly trained and certified".

EU health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou explained: "As a society we have a duty of care towards animals, which includes minimising distress and avoiding pain throughout the slaughtering process. The current EU rules are outdated and need revision. This proposal will make a real difference to the way animals are treated at the time of slaughter, as well as promoting innovation and providing a level playing field for operators."

If adopted, the proposals will affect "360 million pigs, sheep, goats and cattle as well as several billion chickens" which each year go to their deaths in EU slaughterhouses, as well as "about 25 million animals killed for their fur", EUobserver calculates. ®

Bootnote

The EU proposals makes no mention of conditions endured by slaughterhouses' human inmates. EUobserver has more on that here.

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