Effect of slaughter method on animal welfare and meat quality

CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Informative article on slaughter methods and their impact on meat quality and animal welfare.

This update outlines ways in which various slaughter methods can affect animal welfare and meat quality. It discusses how animal welfare is affected by on-farm processes such as mustering and handling through to which slaughter method is used and how the animal feels during the process.

Key points were:

1) Some religions only accept certain methods of slaughter that are deemed acceptable in their view (certain modes of stunning are acceptable, it is mandatory that stunning should be reversible).

2) Animal welfare recommends that the slaughter process should be as stress-free as possible.

3) Stress-related hormones can make livestock react in a ‘fight or flight’ manner causing short-term stress. More severe stress-activated through the hormonal system can cause the muscle to change in a negative manner affecting final meat quality.

4) The most common slaughter methods include electrical stunning, throat cutting (religious) and mechanical stunning (penetrating and non-penetrating).

2011 - Australia - CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences
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