The BC SPCA is encouraged by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture’s recent announcement that they will be maintaining on-site inspection programs for provincially-licensed commercial slaughter plants once the Canadian Food Inspection Agency withdraws its services next year
Earlier this year, the Society published a new position statement on humane killing of animals, which lays out criteria for ensuring animals do not suffer during the slaughter process. The BC SPCA can only consider a method of animal killing to be humane if it either kills an animal instantly or it first renders the animal insensible to pain until death ensues.
The BC SPCA participated in several rounds of consultation since 2011 to ensure animal welfare was front of mind in decisions regarding meat inspection programs, in addition to the food safety considerations that frequently feature more prominently in deliberations about animal slaughter
The Society was pleased to see a number of enhancements proposed to the slaughter inspection system. The Ministry’s announcement indicates that the new system will also:
- Require all Class A and B plants to develop and maintain comprehensive written food safety procedures for maintaining meat safety, facility hygiene and animal health and welfare.
- Include the development of an audit program of all Class A and B abattoirs.
- Train inspectors to provincial standards, including enhanced knowledge and skills in humane livestock handling and humane slaughter.
The BC SPCA continues to work with the province to encourage further assurances that humane standards are being met among small-scale operations licensed for on-farm slaughter (Class D and E licenses).
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The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.