Media Release from the Humane Slaughter Association

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Media Release 


6 August 2020


HSA materials and guidance referenced in the Animal Welfare Committee’s report Opinion on the welfare of goats at the time of killing


The Humane Slaughter Association’s publications have been cited in a new report by the UK Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) on the welfare of goats at the time of killing.

 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.


Further information


Humane Slaughter Association

The HSA is internationally recognised for its livestock expertise and provides education and training in the fields of transport, marketing and slaughter in the United Kingdom and around the world. Its courses are run by licensed personnel, who have both theoretical and practical knowledge of animal slaughter. Please email  if you would like further information.

The charity also produces publications across a range of subjects and formats, and many of the printed publications are free to download.  If you would like further information then please visit


Animal Welfare Committee Opinions

AWC Opinions are short reports to the UK Government on contemporary topics relating to animal welfare. They are based on evidence and consultation with interested parties. They highlight particular concerns and indicate issues for further consideration by governments and others.  More information about the Committee is available at