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Slaughter of animals for human consumption

Author(s) : A. Shimshony & M.M. Chaudry

Summary :

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 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.

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