Following a recent news investigation into the widespread use of meat and meat products from animals not stunned before slaughter, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is writing to the companies involved to express its concern that the use of this meat in the wider food chain may lead to an increase in the number of animals slaughtered without stunning.

The BVA has also renewed its call for clearer food labeling so that consumers are aware when they buy meat or meat products how the animals were slaughtered.

The report found that meat slaughtered under certain religious rules without pre-stunning (including kosher and some halal meat), is entering the mainstream food chain without being labeled as such, and is being used in schools, hospitals, pub chains and sporting venues.

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The investigation follows news reports that GateGourmet, an airline caterer, is considering making the majority of its meals halal.

The BVA supports moves by the European Parliament to introduce mandatory labeling of meat from non-stunned animals, including use of the meat in other products. The BVA also supports the concept of an EU-wide label to indicate higher welfare throughout the food chain.