FSA 2022 Slaughter Statistics Analysis

<strong>FSA 2022 Slaughter Statistics Analysis</strong>

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has released the results of its 2022 slaughter sector survey (ref 1). The data was collected by onsite veterinarians over a representative week from 7-13 March 2022 (Table 1).

The details of the slaughter methods for each species are in the appendices of that report on pages 38-47 (see FSA, 2022). Aggregating the data by the primary farm animal species (poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs) results in the following data table.

The “Total Animals Slaughtered” column is subdivided into 3 subtotal columns – (1) True Non-Stun, (2) WASK 1995-stun Halal (non-Annex 1) and (3) All Stun.

The final column on the right, “All Halal”, is the sum of everything classed as Halal (within the categories of Non-Stun, WASK-stun and All-Stun) and is thus a subset of the ‘Total Animals Slaughtered’ column.

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

87% of Halal slaughter is stunned

Researchers familiar with the Halal industry already know that the vast majority of Halal slaughter is stunned. The “All Halal” column above shows the combined numbers of animals slaughtered Halal (both with and without stunning) totalled 3,189,121. Of these 490,100 are Halal & Kosher stun-free (“Non-Stun” column) but when you strip out the small number of stun-free Kosher animals (60,239 from the FSA report) you end up with 2,759,260, or 87%, of all Halal-slaughter, that is actually stunned.

2.5% of animals are slaughtered without stunning

In previous reports, poultry that was stunned in accordance with the old WASK 1995 regulation (ref 2), and not the Annex 1 parameters of EC 1099/2009 (ref 3), were misleadingly classed as ‘non-stunned’. This time the data was correctly categorised separately as ‘Non-Annex 1’ to avoid the wrongful impression of a higher level of ‘non-stun’ production than is actually the case. Side-point: The reason for poultry operators opting for WASK 1995 parameters is because the higher electrical parameters of EC 1099/2009 increase the risk of poultry death before slaughter which would render its meat Haram (non-Halal) or ineligible for the Halal market.

Thus the true figure of non-stun production (Halal & Kosher) is 2.5% (percentage in red in data table) of animals slaughtered which is significantly lower than the 7.0% of the population that is Muslim or Jewish (ref 4).

Taking a deeper insight

The data confirms that the primary meat proteins consumed by Muslims are lamb and poultry, with very little beef and no pork (“All Halal” column). However, lamb and poultry animals yield significantly less kg of meat than cattle or pigs. Thus the 2.5% of animals slaughtered without stunning does not mean that 2.5% 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 2021 using data from Defra, IHS Maritime Trade – Global trade Atlas and HMRC. Applying the FSA’s slaughter statistics percentages (in blue in the data table) to the tonnes of meat protein consumed in 2021 yields the following data table (see table 2).

Thus 2.3% (percentage in red) of the meat protein consumed is from stun-free production. This is less than the 2.5% of animals slaughtered without stunning.

The 2021 Census showed the Muslim population of England & Wales to be 3.9m (ref 4). Including the Jewish population this becomes 4.4m or 7.0% of the population. Much of Kosher meat ends up in the Halal market since Muslims are religiously permitted to eat Kosher.

Muslims are culturally known to consume more meat per capita than the average population but, in the absence of quantitative data, it is conservatively assumed (for the purposes of this blog) that Muslims consume similar overall meat protein kgs per capita as the wider public. 


In conclusion 2.3% of the meat protein market is stun-free compared to 7.0% of the population that is Muslim or Jewish. For Halal, 2.0% of the meat protein market is Halal stun-free compared to 6.5% of the population that is Muslim. The data evidences that, contrary to exaggerated claims, there is no significant level of “over-production” of non-stun meat entering the mainstream market.


Ref 1: Results of 2022 FSA Slaughter Sector Survey


Ref 2: The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (WASK 1995) https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/731/contents/made 

Ref 3: EC 1099/2009 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:303:0001:0030:EN:PDF 

Ref 4: 2021 Census data: Religion in England & Wales https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/bulletins/religionenglandandwales/census2021 

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