Halal slaughterhouses that do not stun animals before cutting their throats are three times as likely to breach animal welfare rules as others, an investigation by The Times has found.

The abattoirs, which supply supermarkets and schools, have also failed more than half of their government inspections in the past three years, an analysis of audit reports shows.

Workers have assaulted inspectors at several of the plants, according to Food Standards Agency (FSA) records.

Leading vets last night called for an investigation into why non-stun halal abattoirs had a much higher rate of welfare violations.

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