The British Veterinary Association has expressed its disappointment with the European Union Council decision to scrap plans for compulsory labeling of meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.

In June 2010 the European Parliament voted on new food labeling rules including new country-of-origin labeling and a requirement to label meat from animals slaughtered without stunning (according to certain religious traditions). At a recent meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels it was reported that the European Parliament amendment for the compulsory labeling of non-stunned meat and meat products had not been accepted in the Council’s Common Position.

“This is a huge step backwards," said Harvey Locke, BVA president. "The BVA believes that all animals should be stunned before slaughter. But as long as slaughter without stunning is permitted, consumers should have the right to make an informed choice. We hope that members of the European Parliament will look at this issue again and push for compulsory labeling to be brought back into the plans.”