At the latest meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 15 July, the Dutch delegation proposed that meat from animals slaughtered without stunning should be labelled in future.
Ministers were briefed by the Netherlands on the issue of labelling of meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.
Some member states supported the request from the Netherlands that pointed out the importance of the study into informing consumers about stunning of animals announced by the Commission.
On the basis of the results of this study, legal proposals could be presented by the Commission.
Other delegations noted that it was not yet clear to what extent EU consumers were interested in receiving such information and that this study should include an evaluation of the economic consequences of such measures for the meat sector.
The Commission issued a reminder that slaughter without stunning is only permitted under EU legislation in the context of slaughter prescribed by certain religious rites.
Wishing to identify better the potential demand for transparency to enable consumers to choose to buy meat only from animals that have been stunned, the Commission decided – in the framework of the EU animal welfare strategy 2012-2015 – to launch a study on the possibility of providing consumers with information on the stunning of animals.
This study is ongoing and its results are expected in April 2014.