Yes, the UK is currently in the EU; and the EU policy on the slaughtering of animals for food is that as a generalisation, they have to be stunned prior to slaughter.
The EU legislation on the killing of animals aims to minimise the pain and suffering of animals through the use of properly approved stunning methods. … In 2009 the Union adopted Council Regulation (EC) N° 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing which started to apply on 1 January 2013.
The regulation concerns the killing of animals in slaughterhouses as well as those kept for farming purposes. This includes the killing of fur animals, of male day-old chicks (of laying hens breeds) or other killing taking place in farms. In particular it concerns the killing for disease control purposes (as occurred, for example, in the UK for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease).
Animals killed due to, or following, scientific experiments are covered by a specific Directive.
Animals killed under other circumstances (hunting, bullfighting, stray dogs or cats in shelters, animals in the wild, etc.) are not part of the scope of this regulation. Those areas are covered by national legislation and Union competences are either limited (hunting) or excluded.
Read a lot more here – nation by nation:
BUT, in certain member states of the EU, some animals are killed WITHOUT stunning first by religious groups such as Jewish and Islamic religions.
For many years, UK welfare organisations have been campaigning hard to ensure that all food animals slaughtered in the UK are stunned prior to slaughter. They have failed to date. Again now the RSPCA is pressing for this. You can add your name to an open letter to the UK environment Minister by clicking on the link below.
RSPCA steps up the call to #EndNonStun slaughter
We know you’ve taken actions for us before, and we’d really appreciate your help with our latest call to #EndNonStun slaughter.
We have joined forces with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to call on the UK Government to repeal a legal exemption that permits animals to be slaughtered without pre-stunning, causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
Over 94 million animals are slaughtered without being stunned first – that’s three animals every second on average.
We need you to sign the open letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove and urge the UK Government to change legislation in England which currently allows non-stun slaughter for religious purposes.
Also, please share on your social channels #EndNonStun
We doubt very much that regardless of the above, Mr Gove will change the current stance in UK slaughter methods. It is a case of not wanting to upset the religious minorities that are in the UK. We say, would Christians be allowed to run a stun slaughterhouse in Turkey or Saudi Arabia ? – it sees that anyone can do anything in the EU, but when we look at Jewish and Muslim nations; then we have to comply with their policy only. Fair ?