Egregious Inhumane Treatment at Slaughter

FSIS recently published a directive on Humane Handling of livestock at slaughter.  In the directive is a list of acts that the agency considers egregious.  It is always good to be familiar with the type of activities to be avoided,

  1. Making cuts on or skinning conscious animals
  2. Excessive beating or prodding of ambulatory or non-ambulatory animals or dragging of conscious animals
  3. Driving animals off semi-trailers over a drop off without providing adequate unloading facilities (animals are falling to the ground)
  4. Running equipment over conscious animals
  5. Stunning of animals then allowing them to regain consciousness.
  6. Failing to immediately (or promptly) render an animal unconscious after a failed initial stunning attempt (e.g., no corrective actions)
  7. Multiple ineffective stun attempts (2 or more) that are due to one or more of the following establishment failures to properly handle or stun the animal.
  • Failure to immediately (or promptly) apply the corrective actions that demonstrates a blatant disregard for animal discomfort and excitement
  • Failure to adequately restrain an animal
  • Failure to use adequate stunning methods (e.g., inadequate air pressure, inadequate caliber, insufficient electric current) for the animal being stunned (e.g., species of animal, size of the animal, etc.)
  • Poorly trained/untrained operator or inexperienced operator; or
  • Prolonged discomfort or excitement of the animal due to the inability to render it insensible/unconscious after the application of the immediate (or prompt) corrective actions

8. Dismembering conscious animals, for example, cutting off ears or feet

9. Leaving disabled livestock exposed to adverse climate conditions while awaiting disposition or

10. Otherwise causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, including situations on trucks

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