Animal slaughter

Animal slaughter

Slaughter is the term used to describe the killing and butchering of animals, usually for food. Commonly it refers to killing and butchering of domestic livestock ("tame animals").

The animals most commonly slaughtered for food are cattle (for beef and veal), sheep (for lamb and mutton), pigs (for pork), horses (for horsemeat), and fowl, largely chickens, turkeys, and ducks.

Traditions and laws

Laws for ritual slaughter

Ritual slaughter of animals is also used for food production. Such slaughter is governed by various laws, most notably:
* Shechita - Jewish laws of slaughtering animals
* Dhabiha - Muslim laws of slaughtering animals

United States

In the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) specifies the approved methods of livestock slaughter: [cite web | url= | title= Humane Slaughter of Livestock Regulations (National Citation: 9 C.F.R. 313.1 - 90) | publisher=Animal Legal and Historical Center (regulations from USDA) | year=2007]

;Chemical (carbon dioxide): This method is approved for sheep, calves and swine. The animal is asphyxiated by the use of carbon dioxide gas.;Mechanical (captive bolt): This method is approved for sheep, swine, goats, calves, cattle, horses, mules, and other equines. A captive bolt stunner is applied to the livestock so as to produce immediate unconsciousness in the animals before they are butchered.;Mechanical (gunshot): This method is approved for cattle, calves, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines. The gun is used to render the animal immediately unconscious (and presumably dead) before butchering.;Electrical (stunning or slaughtering with electric current): This method is approved for swine, sheep, calves, cattle, and goats. The current applied is sufficient to ensure surgical anesthesia throughout the "bleeding" of the animal.

Each of these methods is outlined in detail, and the regulations require that inspectors identify operations which cause undue "excitement and discomfort" of animals.


* Slaughterhouse
* Ike jime, a Japanese method of slaughtering fish
* Pig slaughter
* Horse slaughter


The slaughter of animals is commonly opposed by proponents of vegetarianism.


ee also

* Animal euthanasia
* Ritual slaughter, Animal sacrifice

External links

* [ Canada Agricultural Products Act R.S., 1985, c. 20 (4th Supp.)]
* [ Humane Slaughter of Livestock Regulations]

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