THE news this week is full of stories about a potential national shortage of Carbon Dioxide gas (CO2).

While we appreciate the grave concern from a healthcare perspective, frustratingly, the focus has largely been on the impact upon the supply of two non-essential products - fizzy drinks and meat.

CO2 is used to put the fizz into fizzy drinks. The meat industry also uses CO2 gas during the slaughtering of the vast majority of pigs and chickens in Britain and for packaging and chilling animal body parts. 

Many people are unaware of the horrendously cruel practice of gassing pigs with carbon dioxide.

The severe welfare problems caused by the use of high CO2 concentrations to slaughter pigs have been known about for a long time.

Studies have shown pigs gasp for air, their airways burning as they squeal, panic and struggle to escape for up to a minute before losing consciousness. Around 86 per cent of pigs in England and Wales are stunned with high concentrations of carbon dioxide gas before being killed.

As a nation of animal lovers, we cannot continue to condone and financially support this absolutely unacceptable practice. 

Animal Aid urge people to choose a vegan alternative and spare animals this unimaginable suffering.

Visit our website to see an array of tasty vegan dishes and let us inspire you to go vegan.

Tor Bailey

Campaign manager, Animal Aid