NOV 25, 2013: Help could be at hand for smallholders who would prefer to have their animals killed at home, but lack the skill or courage to do it themselves.
In the UK, livestock can be slaughtered on site if the meat is for home consumption – but only if the owner does the killing and butchering. New proposals from the Food Standards Agency could see the regulation being relaxed to allow a licensed slaughterman to do the job. However, it would still be illegal to sell or give the meat to others outside the immediate household – or even to serve it to others, like B&B guests. The FSA launched a public consultation following appeals from livestock keepers who felt the regulations were too restrictive. They include people who do not have an abattoir within easy reach and those who believe it is less stressful for an animal to be slaughtered on site. CS writer Liz Shankland said: “It’s encouraging that the FSA has taken this positive step. I’ve met lots of smallholders who would much prefer to have their animals killed on site than load them in a trailer and maybe travel two hours or more to the nearest abattoir, where they may be further stressed by being penned up next to other animals. However, the big stumbling block is that not everyone wants to have to do the killing – and many worry they wouldn’t be able to do it correctly. Allowing them to hire a licensed slaughterman would guarantee the job was done humanely and efficiently – and it might help rural unemployment, too.” MORE: See the FSA website www.food.gov.uk