The British Veterinary Association (BVA) categorically refutes any claim that the BVA is being “negligent in their duty to protect animals” (your report, 23 February).
Our campaign to end non-stun slaughter is driven by our commitment to improving animal welfare where there is an opportunity to change the law to prevent unnecessary suffering, but it’s certainly not the only animal welfare issue that we campaign on.
Our members play an active role in not only preventing suffering but actively providing for the welfare needs of all animals throughout their lives.
The veterinary profession is not complacent and we consistently lobby government to ensure existing legislation is enforced effectively, to identify and plug gaps in legislation and to promote best practice.
We have and will always work to improve the welfare of animals at every stage of the life cycle.
The recent cases of abuse uncovered in slaughterhouses are completely unacceptable and we expect them to be thoroughly investigated with appropriate action taken by the authorities.
Such abuse warrants sanctions under current welfare legislation irrespective of whether it occurred in an abattoir implementing stunning or non-stun prior to slaughter.
BVA’s e-petition to end non-stun slaughter now has more than 115,000 signatures and clearly shows the strength of feeling about animal welfare at slaughter.
Our campaign is not about religion, but about the welfare compromise of non-stun slaughter. BVA has long argued that all animals should be stunned before slaughter to render them insensible to pain and we will continue to promote better welfare for all animals.
John Blackwell BVSc MRCVS
British Veterinary Association