The campaign in the U.K. to end non-stun slaughter and provide consumers with better information about the welfare of animals at slaughter has received a positive response from the country’s ministers, its organizer the British Veterinary Association (BVA) says.

Responding to the BVA e-petition, the country’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) stated that it would prefer to see all animals stunned before slaughter, but respects the rights of the Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. The response also agrees that better information is required to help them make an informed choice.

BVA president Robin Hargreaves said: “We are encouraged by the government’s statement that it would prefer to see all animals in the U.K. stunned before slaughter. This is an animal welfare issue that affects million of animals every year and the strong response to our petition shows many people agree that action is long overdue.

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“It is disappointing for everyone who supports this campaign that the Prime Minister stated that this government will not consider a full ban on slaughter without stunning. However, we will continue to work with ministers and stakeholders on measures to improve animal welfare, such as post-cut stunning, and clearer labeling.”

In its response to the e-petition, DEFRA confirmed that ministers will consider the issue in the coming months in light of a European Commission study on method-of-slaughter labeling.