Independent report

FAWC report on the welfare of farmed animals at slaughter or killing

Farm Animal Welfare Council review of the welfare implications of the slaughter or killing process: red meat and white meat.

Documents

FAWC report on the welfare of farmed animals at slaughter or killing, part 1, red meat animals

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FAWC report on the welfare of farmed animals at slaughter or killing, part 2, white meat animals

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Details

Farm animals are killed for food, disease control, as an unwanted animal in the production system or one suffering from disease or injury. FAWC considered how best animal welfare can be protected once the decision has been made to kill an animal.

The killing method should always cause minimal distress to the animal. However, this may only be the final stressor in a sequence of equally or more stressful events. Any consideration of the welfare of livestock submitted for slaughter must therefore consider the whole chain of events involved.

FAWC believes that, to address the welfare of animals at slaughter and killing, the floowing basic principles must be observed:

  • pre-slaughter handling facilities which minimise stress

  • use of competent well trained, caring personnel

  • appropriate equipment which is fit for the purpose

  • an effective process which induces immediate unconsciousness and insensibility or an induction to a period of unconsciousness without distress

  • guarantee of non-recovery from that process until death ensues.

You can read more about the work of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.

Published 1 June 2003