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Although your report “ CO2 shortage threatens beer and meat supply” (June 22) mentions the impact on the supply of chicken, it fails to highlight the serious consequences for poultry welfare.

CO2 is used to stun poultry in order to perform humane slaughter and if there are not adequate supplies of CO2 to slaughterhouses this could result in a backlog of animals leading to a critical animal welfare situation on farms if they cannot be processed. In addition, the lack of CO2 would also affect the ability of farms to carry out emergency slaughter on site.

Along with colleagues in the poultry industry, the veterinary profession is calling on all major gas producers to prioritise CO2 supplies to slaughterhouses in order to ensure standards of animal welfare are maintained and to keep the food chain moving.

The British poultry industry has some of the highest welfare standards in the world and action must be taken to ensure that these CO2 shortages do not jeopardise the UK’s reputation in this area.

John Fishwick

President, British Veterinary Association

Philip Hammond

President, British Veterinary Poultry Association

Collin Willson

President, Veterinary Public Health Association

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