Comparison of religious slaughter of sheep with methods that include pre-slaughter stunning, and the lack of differences in exsanguination, packed cell volume and meat quality parameters

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Abstract:

UK legislation requiring pre-slaughter stunning has certain exemptions for religious slaughter. Supporters of both Muslim (Halal) and Jewish (Shechita) slaughter methods claim that the efficiency of the bleed out is adversely affected by stunning. In this study, electrical stunning followed by neck cutting, and captive bolt stunning followed by neck cutting, were compared with the Muslim slaughter method (neck cutting without stunning) in sheep. Total blood loss and percentage blood loss, expressed as a percentage of live weight, were calculated and compared between groups. In addition, the time taken to reach 25%, 50%, 75% and 90% of total blood loss was calculated and compared. There was no apparent difference in the packed cell volume levels between groups. Slaughter method did, however, affect meat pH and colour. The results show that the bleed out after neck cutting is not adversely affected by electrical or captive bolt stunning; nor is an improved bleed out achieved by neck cutting without stunning.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BLOOD LOSS; HALAL; RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER; SHECHITA; STUNNING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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