Slaughter of animals for human consumption
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
This paper briefly describes the formation of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Ad hoc Group on Humane Slaughter of Animals, summarises its initial discussions and provides details of its recommendations. These recommendations were approved (with some amendments) at the 73rd General Session of the OIE International Committee and have been included in the 14th edition of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (2005). The recommendations include some changes to current definitions of
... rent definitions of certain terminology, and guidelines pertaining to the commercial slaughter of animals for human consumption, designed to minimise avoidable pain and suffering at every stage of the pre-slaughter and slaughter processes. The main issues addressed by the Ad hoc Group were: general principles for slaughter, as related to personnel, animal behaviour, and the removal of distractions which can cause animals to stop or turn back; moving and handling animals following their arrival at the slaughterhouse; lairage design and construction; care of animals in lairages; and animal welfare issues associated with acceptable handling, restraining, stunning and slaughter methods applicable to various relevant species. The group acknowledged the significance of religious requirements as well as the cultural and ethnic factors associated with slaughter, and appropriate proposals were included in their final report. Important but less frequently occurring issues such as the management of foetuses during the slaughter of pregnant animals were also included in this work. Finally, the report of the Ad hoc Group also specified methods, procedures and practices that are unacceptable on animal welfare grounds.