The use of electrical water bath stunning for the ‘humane’ slaughter of poultry has drawn criticism from some animal welfare research scientists and animal welfare organisations throughout the world. During water bath stunning, birds are shackled and inverted prior to entry into an electrified water bath, current is passed from the head, through the body and legs to earth via stainless steel shackles. From a Halal perspective, the rules stipulate that the welfare of animals are protected at all times, and that animals must be alive (not conscious) at the point of neck-cutting. Some Muslim authorities have therefore questioned the suitability of water bath stunning for Halal meat production due to its negative impact on animal welfare and the possibility of some birds dying prior to exsanguination. This paper examines possible welfare compromises during water bath stunning and how these may affect compatibility with the rules of Halal meat production.
- Water bath stunning
- Animal Welfare