Handling by slaughterhouse workers often ranges from mindless to overtly cruel. Ineffective methods that frequently fail to stun animals (and are banned in more progressive countries) are routinely used in Canada. For example, poultry in Canada are stunned with an electrified stun-bath. Birds are suspended upside down by their feet, fully conscious, and dragged through a saline bath with an electric current running through it. Good meat quality is only ensured when the voltage is low – too low to ensure a proper stunning. An estimated 6 million birds are thrown live and conscious in the scald bath each year in Canada.
The government body charged with protecting animals during slaughter, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), has been shown to repeatedly fail. For example, a CBC National exposé obtained documentation that showed senior CFIA officials ordered veterinarians and inspectors to break their own rules and not be present on the kill floor. In one documented incident, a CFIA veterinarian was physically blocked from entering the kill floor by workers.
For more information about the slaughter of poultry, read CETFA’s report Broken Wings: The Breakdown of Animal Protection in the. Transportation and Slaughter of Meat Poultry in Canada.
CETFA is working towards:
- The development of an arms -length inspection agency to replace the ineffective CFIA.
- Effective stunning methods which ensure animals are unconscious with no chance of revival.
- An immediate ban on the use of electrified stun baths, electric prods, whips and canes.
- The installation of monitored cameras streaming on the internet and visible by the public.