Animal Slaughter – Methods Used | RSPCA
We’re just as concerned about how farm animals are transported, handled and slaughtered as we are about how they’re treated during their time on the farm.On this page, we’ll explain the processes used to slaughter farm animals in the UK.The slaughter process has two stages:
Stunning, when performed correctly, causes an animal to lose consciousness, so the animal can’t feel pain. The law states that, with few exceptions, all animals must be stunned before ‘sticking’ (neck cutting) is carried out. Sticking is when an animal’s neck is cut, using a very sharp knife, to sever the major blood vessels in its neck and chest that supply the brain, ensuring rapid blood loss and therefore death.
- 1 Do animals feel fear when slaughtered?
- 2 Do animals suffer in slaughterhouse?
- 3 Do pigs know that they’re going to be slaughtered?
- 4 Do pigs cry before slaughter?
- 5 How are pigs slaughtered humanely?
- 6 Is slaughtering painful?
Do animals feel fear when slaughtered?
Making animal products means killing nonhuman animals. This is pretty obvious in the case of meat, leather, fur, and other products that are made from the flesh of animals. But animals are also killed when they are exploited for other purposes such as the production of dairy products and eggs.
Younger cows and chickens produce more milk and eggs, and dairy cows and egg-laying hens are killed when exploiting them is less profitable than breeding new animals and exploiting them instead. A small percentage of animals raised for food are raised on small farms rather than factory farms. Defenders of small farms claim that the animals on them are treated better than those on factory farms.
However, no matter what conditions they are raised in, farmed animals are all eventually sent to a slaughterhouse to be killed. Death is a harm to animals because, as beings with the capacity for positive experiences, they have an interest in living,
Do cows feel pain during slaughter?
Do cows feel pain when they’re slaughtered? – The process of slaughter causes physical pain to cows, Physical beatings by workers, as well as trauma and injury from equipment in the pre-slaughter stages of transportation cause bruising, bleeding, lacerations, and other traumas that are painful.
A study of water buffaloes being transported revealed 244 incidences of contusions and concussions, ranging from small to deep and large bruises, in a study population of 100 animals. Other studies have reveal ed animals being hit by the door leading into the stunning box, and having their tails twisted, being beaten, or being electrically shocked to get them to move forward.
They may even receive electrical shocks to the face. Cows may struggle in the stunning box, injuring themselves and increasing the likelihood that they will have to be stunned multiple times — which means repeated painful blows to the face and head. While proper stunning should render a cow unconscious during exsanguination, this process often goes wrong.
Cutting the neck of a conscious cow activates pain receptors that transmit pain signals to the brain, resulting in the cow feeling pain. In addition, panic and fear experienced while bleeding out can exacerbate the cow’s suffering. Cows who are conscious during exsanguination have higher levels of stress hormones.
In one study comparing stunned slaughter with kosher slaughter of cows, the animals who were killed without stunning had stress hormone levels that were 50% higher. Some researchers have postulated that the abuse leading up to slaughter actually makes the entire process more painful, due to a phenomenon called sensitization.
Sensitization results when repeated painful stimuli cause subsequent exaggerated pain responses to additional stimuli. In other words, all the pain that a cow is subjected to leading up to slaughter has the cumulative effect of making the pain of slaughter more intense, because the nervous system is already highly stimulated.
There is no doubt that cows feel pain during the slaughter process. Even if they are rendered unconscious during the actual killing, in every step leading up to slaughter they are subjected to situations that cause them pain.
What do animals feel before slaughter?
Animals must be fully stunned—unconscious and insensible to pain—before they’re shackled, strung up, and slaughtered. But so many animals remain alert to what’s happening through to the very end. Animals must also be able to walk into the slaughterhouse on their own.
Is slaughtering animals cruel?
Are Slaughterhouses Cruel? – Slaughterhouses are places where humans kill nonhuman animals for the production of meat as food. This act of killing animals alone could be considered cruel. Animal welfare advocates have found, however, that there are degrees of nuance within the main function of a slaughterhouse.
Do animals suffer in slaughterhouse?
Animal suffering at slaughter – Animal suffering at slaughterhouses has been well documented, including through numerous undercover investigations, whistleblower reports, and government reports. Although the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) mandates that slaughterhouses handle and kill livestock “humanely,” the USDA has interpreted this law to apply only to mammals, thus excluding birds—the vast majority of land animals killed for food—from even these basic protections.40 The agency purports to nevertheless require humane handling and slaughter of birds under the Poultry Products Inspection Act, but its stated policy is to take action only if inhumane handling or slaughter rises to the level of “a process control issue,” meaning that the agency does not require humane treatment on a “bird-by-bird” basis and considers enforcement only if there is an “ongoing pattern or trend of” inhumane handling or slaughter.41 As a result, slaughterhouses have been repeatedly documented throwing and hitting chickens, even ripping their bodies from their legs, without enforcement, as well as allowing fully conscious chickens to enter scald tanks intended to remove feathers from dead birds.42 These birds—about a million of them annually, according to USDA data—die from scalding or asphyxiation.43 Despite the HMSA, mammals also suffer similarly at slaughterhouses, including violent handling and being fully conscious when having their throats slit, when entering scald tanks, and even when being dismembered.44 The USDA’s own Office of Inspector General has repeatedly condemned the agency’s poor enforcement of the HMSA, concluding that it “lacks assurance that inspectors working at slaughter establishments are ensuring that animals are humanely treated.” 45 The Government Accountability Office has likewise concluded that the USDA “cannot ensure that it is preventing the abuse of livestock at slaughter plants or that it is meeting its responsibility to fully enforce HMSA.” 46 Downed animals—those who are too sick or injured to stand or walk—are especially vulnerable to inhumane handling at slaughter.
For example, recent USDA records document slaughterhouse workers kicking, shocking, and dragging downed pigs to try to get them to rise.47 Downed animals are also often set aside in overcrowded slaughterhouse pens for prolonged periods without water or protection from the elements.48 The USDA has documented fatal trampling, frostbite, and confinement in direct sunlight when temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in these pens.49 Downed animals also pose heightened zoonotic risks.
For example, an industry-funded study found that more than half of downed pigs were actively infected with H1N1, an airborne flu virus transmissible between pigs and humans.50 In 2009, H1N1 sickened 60.8 million Americans, killing 12,469 people.51 Because of the unique humane handling issues and other concerns implicated by downed animals, in 2002 Congress directed the USDA to study and report on their treatment and promulgate any regulations needed to protect these animals.52 Despite the passage of nearly two decades, the agency has yet to comply with these mandates.
Do pigs know that they’re going to be slaughtered?
Pigs are “sentient beings” with emotions and empathy similar to dogs, and they know what they’re in for when they enter a slaughterhouse, said an expert during the trial of an animal rights activist today. Neuroscientist Lori Marino was one of two defence witnesses in the fifth day of the Anita Krajnc trial in the Ontario Court of Justice in Burlington, Ont.
- Rajnc, founder of the group Toronto Pig Save, is charged with mischief for giving water to pigs en route to Fearman’s Pork Inc.
- On June 22, 2015.
- She has pleaded not guilty, and if convicted, faces a maximum $5,000 fine and jail time.
- Marino, a founder of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, testified that pigs sense the emotions of other pigs through “emotional contagion.” “Pigs are at least as cognitively aware as a monkey,” said Marino, commenting on a video of a slaughterhouse in Australia.
The high-pitched squeals, she said, are “distress calls.” Pigs have individual personalities, Marino said. They’re also one of the few species that can recognize themselves in a mirror. “They have self-awareness, self-agency and have a sense of themselves within the social community,” she said.
“Each one is a unique individual.” On mobile? Read the live blog here. Krajnc said the pigs she had provided with water were dehydrated and suffering. Halton police said they had no way to prove Krajnc was giving them water and not some other liquid. Krajnc’s lawyers have called experts in diet, animal behaviour and neuroscience to testify that Krajnc was acting in the public good.
They’re also using the trial as a chance to highlight what they say is poor treatment of animals in factory farming. Agriculture organizations say this is a diversion and ignoring the real issue — that Krajnc was tampering with someone’s livelihood. Bruce Kelly, program manager of Farm and Food Care, said Tuesday that Krajnc’s lawyers seem to be “cherry picking” videos that aren’t even from Ontario.
Activists fill court at trial of woman charged for giving water to pigs sent to slaughter Woman on trial for giving water to pigs arrested after pig truck rollover
Avowed vegan David Jenkins, a University of Toronto researcher who invented the glycemic index, also took the stand for Krajnc on Tuesday. Neither witness was cross-examined. Since the trial started, Halton police have also charged Krajnc with obstructing police and breach of recognizance.
Is blood drained during slaughter?
Blood is removed from beef during slaughter and only a small amount remains within the muscle tissue. Since beef is about 3/4 water, this natural moisture combined with protein is the source of the liquid in the package.
Do pigs cry before slaughter?
5. Cruel death – Decapitation occurs when the animals are hung upside down, Hanging upside down allows them to bleed out quicker, meaning that it is more commercially beneficial for subsequent processing of the meat. Slaughterhouses “process” many animals a day, so its operation is similar to an assembly line.
Cows and pigs, animals of great weight, are lifted from the floor by their rear legs, causing them tears and breaks. After that, they are slaughtered by the killers, their trembling bodies can be extended endless minutes. Chickens and hens are hung upside down on conveyor belts. They are mechanically slaughtered by machines.
In poultry slaughterhouses, almost everything is automated. They can kill more than 50,000 animals in just one week.
How are pigs slaughtered humanely?
A video tour inside a pork processing operation brings transparency to the process. When pigs arrive at a packing plant, they are unloaded in a calm manner and allowed to rest for a couple of hours prior to slaughter. This reduces the incidence of meat quality defects such as pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) pork.
During this time, animals have constant access to water. Pigs are moved in small groups using plastic paddles and sorting boards or curtains. Pigs are commonly stunned using CO 2 (animals are lowered into a chamber that is 90 percent CO 2 ) stunning or electrical stunning, whereas cattle are stunned using captive bolt.
Stunning renders an animal insensitive to pain and unconscious instantly. This must be done before slaughter occurs. Humane animal handing and slaughter are required by the Humane Slaughter Act that is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service.
A video showing the process and inside of a pork packing plant is available from the American Meat Institute’s Glass Walls Project. The video is narrated by Dr. Temple Grandin, world renowned expert on animal handling and humane slaughter. This video goes into detail showing the entire process from unloading through cutting the meat into pieces of subprimals.
After stunning and bleeding occurs, the carcasses are put in a hot water bath to loosen hair follicles. After that, the carcasses are put into a machine that tumbles them to remove the hair. This does not cause bruising because the blood has already been removed from the pigs during the bleeding step.
- After the carcasses are dehaired in the tumbler, they move through a singer.
- This removes any remaining hair and also gives additional food safety benefits of decreasing surface pathogens.
- The pork carcasses are gutted and split in half and sent through a rapid chill at very cold temperatures (-4 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit) to improve meat quality.
Carcasses are then chilled 24 to 48 hours before they are cut into smaller pieces like ham, loins, picnic and Boston butt shoulders, and bellies which are used to make bacon. Michigan State University Extension recognizes sanitation efforts that occur in meat processing facilities every day.
Do animals cry at slaughter?
Do cows cry before slaughter? – If you love animals, it may not be the best feeling to see tears in cows’ eyes. In the process of extracting products for human use like dairy and meat, we sometimes hurt animals and cause them more pain than we can fathom.
The slaughter process often brings tears to the eyes of these animals because of how stressful the environment can be. This is one of the reasons why farmers make the animal feel comfortable during the process. There are many videos on the internet that show cows sometimes guess that they are about to die.
Any emotion that these animals would feel on such occasions would be let out in the form of cries and wails. It also becomes important for farmers and slaughterhouse workers to make sure that a cow does not feel distressed at the time of death, since such emotions can alter the taste of the meat and make it less valuable in the market.
Cows also cry in order to call their mates, search for any signs of threat, and to let their caregivers know that they need some food. A high-pitched call could mean that the mother cow cannot find its young one or is feeling grief for being separated from it. Cows also cry when they are about to be milked since the process can be very stressful for them if not carried out in the proper way.
Humans sometimes think that a high-pitched moo from a cow can only mean that someone they love is about to die. While this superstition is hardly correct, the animal could just be feeling emotional.
Is slaughtering painful?
5. The Location of Cutting (Incision) During Slaughter – Hadith states that “the cut must be made on the neck, just below the gullet and the core of the neck”. The Hadith moreover mentions that “the jugular veins” and “the carotid arteries must be cut, in addition to the oesophagus and the trachea”,
The slaughter act must be performed by prompt incision with one uniform continuous movement and without any interruption, uncertainty or unnecessary delay. Furthermore, the incision must be performed at the ventral aspect of the neck near the lower jaw and must not reach the spine. This means that the head should not be completely separated from the body during slaughter, which can delay loss of consciousness due to blood continuing to flow to the brain through the vertebral arteries,
The preamble of Council Regulation (EC) No.1099/2009 indicates that slaughtering bovine, ovine and caprine species without stunning requires accurate cutting of the throat using a sharp knife to minimise suffering, adding that animals under this procedure that are not restrained mechanically after the incision are likely to endure a slower bleeding process and consequently prolonged unnecessary suffering,
Minimally painful and complete bleeding is required during halal slaughter, which is difficult to perform in large animals, Previous researchers have indicated an association between the location of the cut and the onset of unconsciousness during slaughter without stunning, such as in halal slaughter.
It has been found that cutting the neck at a position parallel to the first cervical vertebra (C1) almost eliminates the development of false aneurysm compared with the conventional C2+, thereby minimising the risk of restricted exsanguination, Gibson et al.
found that the performance of the neck cut at a higher position than the conventional low cut on the neck reduced the time to loss of posture (onset of unconsciousness) in halal-slaughtered cattle, thereby minimising subsequent distress such as false aneurysm. The development of false aneurysm occurs due to the contraction of the severed carotid artery within its surrounding connective tissue sheath, which can subsequently block the flow of blood from the artery,
The recommended position of incision is depicted in Figure 1, Gibson et al. suggested that adoption of a high neck-cut tactic in halal slaughter (without stunning) may reduce the compromise in welfare associated with the delayed time to loss of consciousness.