Manual: how to kill chickens humanely
A new technical manual in Shandong province encourages the use of humane methods to slaughter chickens. The methods promote better meat quality, proponents said.
The manual, which sets standards to reduce the animals’ suffering, was prepared by a research team at Qingdao Agricultural University and approved recently by the Shandong provincial government’s quality watchdog.
“Complying with the humane slaughter manual is not only about showing human compassion for the animal but also could improve the quality of the meat,” said Sun Jingxin, a professor of food science at the university’s College of Food Science and Engineering.
The standards “ensure that suffering at slaughter can be avoided so the animals experience minimal fear, stress and pain”, he said.
Sun’s team pursued the research with Nanjing Agricultural University and several other institutions for several years, examining each part of the slaughter process— including catching, the deprivation of fluids and food during transportation, unloading, rest before slaughter and stunning the birds before killing them.
“For example, workers should use two hands to catch both wings or use a specialized catching device,” Sun said. “Grabbing a single wing or leg of a chicken will cause much more pain or broken bones.”
The new manual requires that live chickens be transported no longer than three hours, with proper temperature and humidity. Also, the chickens need to rest before slaughter, which includes a massager installed on the animal’s breast to pacify it. Before being killed, chickens should be rendered unconscious with gas or electric shock, according to the guideline. massagerSun said installed that on withoutthe animal’s these breast measures,to pacify chickensit. Before suffer being great killed, pain chickens before should death, be an renderedthe blood unconsciouscan burst with into gas muscleor electric fibers, shock, causing according bruising to and the stains. guideline. The quality of Sun the said meat that may withoutbe seriouslythese measures, compromised. chickens suffer great pain Shandongbefore death, raises and20 percentblood canof China’sburst into broiler muscle chickens,fibers, causingand chicken bruising accountsand stains.for 40 The percent qualityof theof the province’smeat may meatbe seriously production. compromised.
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