Stunning of animals before slaughter

  carver 10:48 11 May 2014

F.E sorry if I have overstepped any rules and if so please feel free to delete this thread.

It's just that there is a petition here e-petition calling for an end to animal slaughter without pre-stunning for all animals.

I personally feel that no animal bred for food should have it's last few minutes of life in pain, there is no need for it, I thought we were a bit more civilised .

  Forum Editor 11:23 11 May 2014

I'm certainly in agreement with the principle that no animal killed for food should experience pain as a result of the process. However......

Before making a snap judgement it might be an idea to read this

  john bunyan 11:23 11 May 2014

I once worked, as part of management training in a major meat company, in a number of slaughterhouses. Pigs are obviously not subject to Halal or Kosher killing and are generally electrically stunned prior to "sticking" as the heart has to be beating to pump the blood out, and the pigs are not, in my view, unnecessarily traumatised. Cattle are usually shot in the back of the head (medulla) with a captive bolt, and the drop instantly prior to being bled. Not pleasant but you get used to it. However I, who was used to it, was absolutely horrified when I observed Kosher slaughter. Cattle were ushered indo a "Crush", inverted 180 deg, then a Rabbi would slice the neck back to beyond the windpipe. Top slaugtermen I knew, as do I, think this is a totally cruel method, as is its Halal equivalent for cattle and sheep. I heard a Rabbi from the Shechita board trying to justify it on the radio, very unconvincingly. In my view non stunning should be banned in this country, and those of us who do not want to eat such meat should insist that such cruel origin meat should be labelled (all hind quarter Kosher beef goes into the non - Jewish trade.) Also there should be a ban on the live export of animals to such foreign slaughterhouses - meat should be sent chilled or frozen as the journey and method of killing at destination is cruel.

  john bunyan 11:24 11 May 2014

Also read this: Kosher

  fourm member 11:35 11 May 2014

'it's last few minutes of life in pain'

I'm sorry but that comment reveals how little you know about slaughter methods.

Stunning is effective for less than 30 seconds so a stunned animal has to be slaughtered within that time otherwise it will need to be stunned again.

There's a lot of information about slaughter both opinion and scientific if anyone is sufficiently concerned to want to understand the complexities.

  carver 12:09 11 May 2014

So sorry fourm member once again I bow to your vast knowledge of all things.

"I'm sorry but that comment reveals how little you know about slaughter methods."

I didn't realise you were also an expert slaughter man, please forgive me for my ignorance.

Funny but I believed that stunning was done to stop the animal from experiencing pain or trauma while it was killed, not to be killed while it was still wide awake and knowing what was going on.

Personally I do not know what goes through an animals mind while it is being killed or how long that experience lasts for, time is relative to what is happening to you.

What may seem like a second to an outsider can be a lifetime to another person or animal.

So the next time you die please let us know what it was like and how long did it appear to take from your perspective.

  john bunyan 13:00 11 May 2014

fourm member

"Stunning is effective for less than 30 seconds " What do you mean by "stunning"? Pigs are indeed stunned by a double electric tong, and are "stuck" immediately, the "bleeding time" being a couple of minutes. However Pigs are not used in Halal or Kosher killing, so cattle are not stunned but are instantly killed by captive bolt, then bled. Have you, as I have, actually worked in a slaughterhouse?

  Forum Editor 13:26 11 May 2014


Sarcasm is not an effective tool in debate, you tend to come across as small-minded and unpleasant.

Captive bolt stunning is used on cattle and sheep, and I believe sometimes on pigs. The metal bolt, fired into the brain of the animal, results in an instant loss of consciousness.

Electrical stunning is also used on sheep and pigs, and that produces a temporary state of unconsciousness unless an electrical current is passed through the heart - that kills the animal as well.

Most of the animals slaughtered for Halal meat are stunned before being killed.

"Personally I do not know what goes through an animals mind while it is being killed or how long that experience lasts for, time is relative to what is happening to you."

Nobody knows what goes through an animal's mind, but it is probably very little, and nothing at all if the animal is unconscious.

There is little doubt that what goes on in a slaughterhouse can result in animals being in pain and experiencing fear, and steps can and should be taken to ensure that as far as is possible animals are killed humanely. The government is under pressure to ban ritualised slaughter on religious grounds, but that's a decision which is fraught with problems.

  carver 14:26 11 May 2014

Forum Editor, I mentioned in my first posting about any animal not having to suffer in pain for it's last few minutes of life, the response from FM was to suggest, sorry, tell me I knew nothing about slaughtering animals and he gave the impression he knew all about it.

You have had a go at me and said "you tend to come across as small-minded and unpleasant"

That is your opinion, would you like me to post the video of a cow turned upside down with it's throat cut still struggling 5 minutes after the cut, or the one were after 3 minutes the cow is also still thrashing about.

To say it is not pleasant is an understatement, I could post another video of a lamb after a botched kosher slaughter that 4 minutes in to the video is still trying to get up.

I don't believe that either animal appear to be enjoying or not showing any distress and you finish by saying that.

"The government is under pressure to ban ritualised slaughter on religious grounds, but that's a decision which is fraught with problems."

Why should religion be allowed to get away with causing suffering to animals, there is no religious reason or argument for an animal to not be stunned.

So I may be sarcastic towards fm but maybe he should watch these videos then tell me they don't suffer.

  fourm member 15:04 11 May 2014


'I didn't realise you were also an expert slaughter man'

I'm not. But it doesn't take a lot of research to discover what I wrote.

'please forgive me for my ignorance'

I'm not sure I should because it is the sort of ignorance that is being shown by people rushing to sign a petition when they know very little about the topic.

As I said, the whole issue of slaughtering is very complex and given that around 1.3 billion animals are slaughtered in the UK every year it would be surprising if there weren't times when it doesn't go to plan.

I take no position on which method is generally preferable because I don't know enough.

For that reason I will not sign a petition that is being driven by a campaign of religious intolerance.

  Flak999 15:45 11 May 2014

First of all let me make it clear that I have no objection to the religious slaughter of animals providing that they are stunned before slaughter. Somebody mumbling a prayer or some other form of meaningless words over an animal will not affect how that meat tastes when it is on my plate.

My sole objection to this form of slaughter is on an animal welfare issue only. I like eating meat I enjoy it immensely, I would no more become a vegetarian than I would vote for the green party.

But, I also like animals and would not wish them to suffer more than is absolutely necessary before they reach my plate. Therefore I believe that all slaughter without stunning should be banned.

The link provided by the FE cannot really be regarded as impartial can it? It is written by a Muslim!

These links back up the claim that ritual slaughter without stunning is unacceptable firstly RSPCA and also this paper from the British Veterinary Association BVA

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