Billions of poultry are slaughtered globally each year to provide protein for a rapidly expanding human population. The large number of birds produced in conventional systems presents animal welfare issues during production, transport, and at the time of slaughter. While we recognise the significance of welfare issues during rearing and transport, this paper highlights the welfare of poultry at the time of slaughter. The impacts of manual handling, inversion and shackling, use of inappropriate electrical stunning parameters, and the use of aversive gas mixtures during controlled atmosphere stunning are some of the evident welfare lapses; if the entrance to the water bath is wet and not isolated, bird welfare can also be compromised during water bath stunning because of pre-stun shocks. We also highlight the use of aversive stunning methods such as carbon dioxide gas at high concentrations, which has been shown to compromise bird welfare. In conclusion, we offer some reflections on ways to improve the welfare of birds during pre-slaughter handling, stunning, and neck cutting.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2023|