THE row over non-stun animal slaughter has reignited with concern that public money may be used to support job creation at a Welsh abattoir authorised to carry out this practice.

The Welsh government is believed to be in talks with Pak Mecca Meats, which runs the Cig Menai Cymru abattoir in Caernarfon.

The Food Standards Agency has given approval to the company to carry out non-stun killing.

It emerged that the Welsh government is in talks with a private company regarding job creation at an abattoir in Caernarfon, thought to be the Cig Menai Cymru facility.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said it was concerned that public money could be used to support the company. It suggests that animal welfare should be put first and is concerned that if the government is seen to support this abattoir, the image and reputation of the Welsh meat industry could be damaged.

All animals culled in the UK must be stunned prior to slaughter but there are exemptions if animals are killed for certain religious communities.

The BVA wants to know how the Welsh government can be sure that meat derived from animals killed without prior stunning at the Cig Menai Cymru abattoir will only supply those communities with the derogation.

To date, 95,000 people have signed the BVA’s e-petition calling for an outright ban on non-stun slaughter.

Rob Davies, president of the BVA’s Welsh branch, demanded answers from the Welsh government. “BVA calls upon the Welsh Government to state clearly that it will not spend public money on abattoirs which don’t stun animals before killing them, either now or at any time in the future,’’ he said.

“BVA supports the Welsh farming industry which is the backbone of the rural economy. I would appeal to Welsh farmers to consider the damage done to the image and reputation of Welsh meat if they knowingly take or send animals to an abattoir which doesn’t stun before killing, whether a local abattoir or a distant one. Welsh meat must be welfare friendly from birth to slaughter.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Government insisted that the welfare of animals was a "priority". He said the government’s Animal Health and Welfare Framework, introduced by the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans, in July 2014, demonstrated this.

“We have implemented EC Regulation 1099/2009 on protection of animals at time of killing.’’