The UK's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is calling on consumers to contact their Member of the European Parliament (MEP) to urge them to add their signature of support for clearer labeling of welfare standards on meat.
A Written Declaration has been tabled in the European Parliament calling for compulsory method of slaughter labeling on meat and poultry products which are from animals which have not been pre-stunned.
The RSPCA argues that if method of slaughter labeling becomes a requirement within the EU, it will provide consumers with clearer information about how animals are treated at the end of their lives.
Dr. Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA's farm animal science department, says: "We would rather see all animals pre-stunned before they are killed, however we believe labeling that clearly differentiates between animals that have been stunned or non pre-stunned is still a step in the right direction.
"We believe all meat produced from animals that have not been stunned before slaughter should be clearly labeled in some way, so that it can be identified by consumers. Consumers have the right to choose whether or not they wish to buy meat from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning."
The RSPCA says that it recognizes that religious beliefs and practices should be respected. It adds that it also believes it is important to ensure animals are slaughtered under the most humane conditions possible. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that slaughter of an animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering, the society adds.