The recent European Meat Forum organised by the International Butchers' Confederation looked at the latest findings regarding stunning methods and the requirements of the new EU Animal Welfare at Time of Slaughter Regulation.
The EU Regulation on animal welfare at time of slaughter comes into force at the beginning of 2013 along with various other requirements for Europe's butchers. At its 14th European Meat Forum in Brussels the International Butchers' Confederation (IBC) sounded out what the changes will mean exactly for butchers from the scientists and politicians.
In his opening statement IBC President Jean-Marie Oswald articulated the views of the craft butchery sector on animal welfare. This is a top priority both for consumers and the food industry - and therefore also for the craft butchery sector, he explained. Which is why the IBC, as the European umbrella organisation, has from the outset urged that the high standards be continuously adapted throughout the EU to reflect the latest scientific findings and sociopolitical expectations.
All butchers carrying out their own slaughtering feels a deep-seated duty to prevent the animals from experiencing avoidable pain, stress and suffering, he said. The short distances and transport times between the farms and the slaughterhouses are already helping to minimise the stress for pigs and cattle. This is why, according to Oswald, the structure of regional slaughterhouses needs to be retained - in the interests of the animals and also to meet the animal welfare and meat quality expectations of the consumers. The legal framework needs to be formulated in a way that ensures that Europe's butchers can still afford to do their own slaughtering, demanded the IBC President.
Craft butchers are well aware of the high degree of responsibility they carry towards the animals, Oswald impressed upon the parliamentarians, commission officials and lobbyists. This is not an empty phrase in a mission statement but something which they practise every day in their skilled, humane and respectful handling of cattle. This responsible treatment is also the basis of a further goal: the production of top quality foods which are both safe and tasty.
This article is in German language available:
"14. European Meat Forum diskutiert Tierschutz
Source: afz – allgemeine fleischer zeitung 49/2012