Death By A Thousand Cuts – How we Make Farmed Animals Suffer In The Slaughter Process
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from

FROM Sandra Kyle, EndAnimal
February 2021

“Lactating dairy cattle with distended udders must be slaughtered within 24 hours of arrival unless milked.” It is, in my opinion, unethical that lactating cows stand in a holding pen for any length of time, let alone 24 hours, dripping milk from their distended and painful udders.

Cow face

A recent article in Stuff claimed that “meatworks are ‘gory and messy and nasty’, but the slaughtering’s humane”. While the article acknowledges the stressful process of transportation of animals, it makes the assertion that the killing itself is painless. It claims that the stunning process that immediately precedes the actual slaughter is instantaneous, and renders the animal insensible while s/he is killed.

This may well be true, provided the stunning process is effective every time. And yet, I remain unconvinced that we can narrow the slaughter down to that one instant. I think it is important that we don’t separate the transportation and holding of animals in slaughterhouse pens from the actual slaughter, and consider how the whole process makes the animals suffer.

The Codes of Welfare governing animal slaughter and transport in New Zealand are woefully inadequate to prevent suffering on a mass scale. Animals sent to slaughter often travel long distances. It is a very uncomfortable journey. They travel in filthy, hot and noisy carriages, putting up with exhaust fumes and slippery floors covered in urine and excrement. It’s not exactly the Orient Express....


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