News Blog Articles Realities of modern animal slaughter revealed

Realities of modern animal slaughter revealed

August 2nd, 2017

The realities of modern animal slaughter were  starkly revealed in video footage briefly posted on Facebook by a Napier  slaughterhouse worker and aired today on Newstalk ZB.

After laughing and joking workers were filmed cutting the throats of  sheep and hanging them from shackles, to allow their blood to drain out.

For any who care about animals, this alone was upsetting enough. Even  worse however was footage of supposedly unconscious animals struggling  during shackling, and afterwards. One sheep was filmed trying to lift  its head, after having its throat cut and being hung upside down from  the shackles. This was a conscious movement, indicating that the  stunning method was inadequate.

All animals slaughtered in New Zealand are legally required to be  adequately stunned prior to slaughter, so they’re unconscious during  throat-cutting, shackling and subsequent skinning and dismembering.

Unfortunately however, inadequate stunning is common in  slaughterhouses, affecting a small proportion of all animals  slaughtered. This can occur because of poor equipment maintenance (e.g.  failure to clean captive bolt pistols, which can then misfire), or  equipment use (e.g. electrodes poorly positioned by over-tired workers).  In this case, inadequate voltages may have been used – which can result  in temporary paralysis, without loss of consciousness – or the time  period after stunning may have been prolonged. Any delay may result in  return of consciousness, prior to death.

Some 24 million sheep are slaughtered annually in New Zealand, with  far larger numbers of other animals, particularly meat chickens. The  uncomfortable reality is that because of such stunning failures and  inadequacies, many thousands of New Zealand animals each year experience  severe and avoidable pain and distress at the time of their deaths.

Take Action

  • Consider reducing or eliminating meat and other animal products from your diet. Our Eat Kind programme exists to advise and support you as you progress.

  • Read and share the 01 August Newstalk ZB story

  • Write to your local newspaper and call your local talkback radio  station, condemning the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses –  particularly, inadequate stunning.

  • Join SAFE’s volunteer network, and participate in action to help animals, the environment and your local community.

  • SAFE Animal Squad Children between 8-14 who care about animals can join our Animal Squad and learn how to care for and protect animals.

  • Learn more Teachers  interested in exploring and encouraging critical thinking about our  relationship with animals can learn more about SAFE’s Animals & Us  education programme here.


Donate today

Help us continue helping animals in need

As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.