Halal chicken on sale in Asda Supermarket© Paula Solloway/REX/Shutterstock

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced it will publish details of the numbers of birds slaughtered without pre-stunning in an upgrade to its abattoir monitoring system. 

The FSA carries out official welfare monitoring on behalf of Defra in slaughterhouses. 

Vets insist non-stun slaughter to meet Halal and Shechita religious standards compromises animal welfare.

Recent press reports suggested the existing monitoring system was being cut back, causing concern among veterinary organisations and welfare groups.

See also: Non-stun slaughter e-petition hits 100,000 signatures

But the FSA rejected the allegation, insisting it is switching to a new system of data collection in the abattoirs across England and Wales. 

This, it said, would allow the agency to provide better details on the number and proportion of animals killed without pre-stunning. The information will also be published in a series of regular reports, but no date has yet been set for their release. 

An FSA spokesman said: “We are looking to provide similar information as previous welfare surveys, including some additional data. 

“Data will be published on the number of abattoirs using non-stun slaughter as well as how many animals are slaughtered without stunning.”