Animal Aid

More controversy over religious slaughter

Posted 22 June 2009

The government’s official welfare advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), has published a new report on the slaughter of farmed animals - in this case poultry - and media attention, predictably, has focused on its comments relating to the religious method of killing. Cutting the throats of animals without prior electrical stunning is cruel and vicious. But so is the red-white-and-blue British system - not least the shackling of birds upside down before dunking them in electrically charged water. FAWC has this to say about that practice: ‘Research has shown convincingly that shackling is likely to be very painful’, and is ‘likely to be exacerbated when heavy birds or fracture-prone, end of lay birds are shackled... Inversion is unnatural and stressful.’ FAWC calls for the end of live shackling and inversion ‘in the long term’.

Why in the long term? Perhaps because around 850 million birds are slaughtered in this manner every year in Britain. That makes it very big business. Of that total, around 115 million are killed by religious methods. Add to this, notions of cultural superiority and we can see which is the easier target. Animal Aid regards all aspects of animal production, transportation and killing as indefensibly cruel. The commodification of animals leads inevitably to their suffering and exploitation. Please don’t be part of it!

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