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Written Statement - Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing

Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

New Regulations for the Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing came into force in Wales yesterday. The regulations replace the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter and Killing) Regulations 1995 and are in compliance with EU standards.

The Welsh Government were relying on the Department for Environment, Food  and Rural Affairs (Defra) to bring forward some consequential amendments to UK legislation via the introduction of their updated Regulations.   This is a normal business approach and, until yesterday, we fully expected those linked amendments to be made.   However, I was informed that Defra had laid and immediately revoked their Regulations yesterday – I have not been informed of the reason behind their decision and have written to the Rt Hon Owen Patterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to express my concern regarding their actions.

The revocation of the Defra SI has implications for the delivery of the work undertaken by the Food Standards Agency in Wales, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency and other partners who need clear and explicit legislation in which to operate. Urgent work is under way to ensure short term mitigation action is in place and a longer term solution found.    I now intend to bring forward some technical domestic legislation on the following pieces of legislation:

  • The Firearms Act 1968
  • the Slaughterhouse Act 1974
  • the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and
  • the Gangmasters Licensing (Exclusions) Regulations 2013

I am committed to ensuring high welfare standards for all animals kept in Wales is maintained at all stages of their life, including at the point of slaughter.