FSA 2018 Slaughter Statistics Analysis

John Li
FSA 2018 Slaughter Statistics Analysis

The Food Standards Agency finally released the results of its 2018 slaughterhouse survey in
early 2019 (ref 1). The data was collected by onsite veterinarians over a representative week
from 29th January to 4th February 2018 (Table 1).

The details of the slaughter methods for each species are in the appendices of that report on
pages 49-58 (see FSA, 2018). Aggregating the data by the main farm animal species of
poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs results in the following data table.

The “Total Animals Slaughtered” column is further broken down into 3 subtotal columns (1)
True Non-Stun, (2) WASK-stun Halal classed as ‘Non-Stun’ and (3) All Stun.

The final column on the right, “All Halal”, is the total of all that is Halal across all the
categories of Non-Stun, WASK-stun and stun and so is a subset of ‘Total Animals

Two key observations can be derived from the data above and the FSA report.

Researchers familiar with the Halal industry already know that the vast majority of
Halal-slaughter is stunned. The column on the very right above with the title “All Halal”
shows the combined numbers of animals slaughtered Halal (both with and without stunning)
totalling 4,197,704. Of these 736,068 are Halal & Kosher stun-free (non-stun subtotal
column) but when you strip out the small number of stun-free Kosher animals (52,227) you
end up with 3,409,409, or 81%, of all Halal-slaughter is actually stunned.

The FSA classified all poultry that was stunned in accordance with the previous WASK 1995
(ref 3) regulation as ‘non-stunned’. Ostensibly this was because the WASK electrical
water-bath parameters are inconsistent with the new EC 1099/2009 (ref 4) parameters so
that the birds do not die from the stun because if they died it would render them Haram (i.e.
non-Halal). However this classification has the misleading effect of implying that more birds
were slaughtered without stunning than is actually the case. Thus this subtotal has been
separated out into its own column in the table to get to the ‘true’ figure of non-stun
production which is 3.7% (percentage in red) of animals slaughtered. This figure includes
Kosher (which is always non-stun).

However the findings do not end there.

The data confirms that the primary meat proteins consumed by Muslims are lamb and
poultry, with very little beef and no pork (see percentage of each species that is a type of
Halal). However, lamb and poultry animals yield significantly less kg meat than beef or pork.
Thus the 3.7% of animals slaughtered without stunning does not imply that 3.7% of meat
consumed is from animals slaughtered without stunning. So what proportion of the overall
meat market is actually non-stun?

The AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) Market Intelligence team
provided meat protein consumption data for 2018. Applying the FSA’s slaughter statistics to
the tonnes of meat protein consumed in 2018 results in the following data (see table 2).

Thus 3.0% (percentage in red) of the meat protein consumed is from stun-free production.
This is a fifth less than the 3.7% of animals slaughtered without stunning.

The latest ONS estimate of the Muslim population in the UK in 2018 is 3.4m (ref 4). Including
the Jewish population this becomes 3.7m or 5.7% of the overall population. Muslims are
known to consume more meat than the average population but in the absence of
quantification data it is assumed that Muslims consume the same overall meat protein kg per
capita as the wider public. Much of Kosher meat also ends up in the Halal market since
Muslims are religiously permitted to eat Kosher.


In conclusion 3.0% of the meat protein market is stun-free compared to 5.7% of the
population that is Muslim or Jewish. For Halal, 2.8% of the meat protein market is Halal
stun-free compared to 5.2% of the population that is Muslim. The data evidences that,
contrary to dramatic claims, there is no significant level of “over-production” of non-stun meat
entering the mainstream market.


Ref 1: Food Standard’s agency 2018 slaughterhouse survey

Ref 2: The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (WASK 1995)

Ref 3: EC 1099/2009

Ref 4: UK population by religious affiliation Apr 2017 – Mar 2018

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