The RSPCA believes the slaughter of a fully conscious animal is inhumane and completely unnecessary. Australian law agrees and requires all animals to be stunned so that they are insensible to pain prior to slaughter.
There are, however, exemptions given to a number of abattoirs to meet a small demand in Australia for religious slaughter (Kosher and Halal). Fortunately, the vast majority of Halal slaughter involves stunning prior to the throat cut. But, some Halal and all Kosher slaughter is carried out without prior stunning. This means that animals are fully conscious and able to experience the pain of the throat cut. Cattle must be stunned immediately after the throat cut but other animals, like sheep, goats and chickens, are left to bleed out until they die.
The RSPCA believes all animals must be slaughtered humanely. The overwhelming scientific evidence points to the fact that animals that are slaughtered while conscious suffer painful and prolonged deaths.
Much of the cruelty against Australian cattle documented in Indonesia was the result of un-stunned slaughter. Since then the terrible fate awaiting sheep in Turkey has also been revealed. On seeing the horrors of the practice, the Australian public and indeed producers have overwhelmingly called for mandatory stunning for all exported animals. These few domestic exemptions that still exist in Australia have been used as an excuse not to take this important step.
Recently, Primary Industry Ministers had an opportunity to right this wrong but decided to stick with the status quo. We are aware that some Ministers may still be considering outlawing un-stunned slaughter in their state. You can help keep the pressure on by writing to your state Minister now.
For more information, see the RSPCA Australia knowledgebase:
- How animals are slaughtered in Australia
- Humane slaughter
- Kosher slaughter
- Halal slaughter