The report was published in July 2020 and made a number of recommendations. These included prioritising the need to raise awareness among animal keepers and regulators about the rules for on-farm killing and that anyone who may have to carry out emergency slaughter of goats should be suitably trained and competent. It further recommended that, during training for a certificate of competence and/or a WATOK licence, the biological and behavioural differences between sheep and goats are noted to ensure that animal handlers and slaughterers are competent in the slaughter of goats of all ages.
The HSA’s Technical Director Charlie Mason said: “We welcome these recommendations by the Animal Welfare Committee. An inescapable fact of animal production is that occasionally, animals have to be killed to prevent or end suffering. It is a difficult, but essential, part of animal husbandry and a lack of proper training and human error can lead to pain and distress to the animal.”
In preparing its opinion, the AWC considered the HSA’s publications alongside scientific literature, industry information, published data and assurance information, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinions, and other information and expert opinion.