6th February 2015

QMS Assurance Schemes Make Welfare at Slaughter a Priority

Consumers purchasing meat labelled as Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork can be fully confident that the product they are buying has come from animals which were stunned prior to slaughter.

Following recent media attention on the issue of non-stun slaughter, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is reminding consumers of this fact and highlighting the priority given to animal welfare in the quality assurance schemes behind the three brands.

“To be sold as Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork, meat must come from animals which have been born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland,” said Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS.

“QMS Assurance Scheme Processor Standards require that animals are stunned before slaughter and high welfare standards are also a priority in our other assurance schemes which cover farms, hauliers, feed companies and auction markets.

“We work closely with the Scottish SPCA, Scotland’s leading animal welfare charity, to ensure that high welfare standards are achieved in all six of our schemes.”

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) also emphasised there are no abattoirs in Scotland, handling cattle, sheep or pigs, which do not stun before slaughter.

Consumers seeking reassurance about the welfare of animals at slaughter can be confident, said Mr McLaren, that animals have been stunned before slaughter if they buy meat carrying the Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork logos.

“Likewise, farmers who have their animals slaughtered in Scotland by a processor who is a member of the QMS Quality Assurance scheme can be confident their animals will be stunned before slaughter and that animal welfare is a priority,” he added.

Further information on the QMS Assurance Schemes Processor Standards, and a list of those abattoirs in Scotland which are part of the assurance scheme, can be found by clicking here

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