A small number of abattoirs in Australia have an exemption to slaughter animals without prior stunning, authorised by state food authorities. This means that animals are fully conscious and experience pain and distress at the time of slaughter. The RSPCA believes all animals should be stunned prior to slaughter.
Making the process humane
RSPCA Australia defines humane killing as when an animal is either killed instantly or instantaneously rendered insensible to pain until it dies.
Pre-slaughter stunning is standard practice in the vast majority of Australian abattoirs producing halal-certified meat. But some halal and all kosher slaughter is carried out without prior stunning.
Pre-slaughter stunning is scientifically recognised as essential for humane slaughter. Stunning ensures the animal is unconscious and insensible to pain before being bled out at slaughter.
It is the state/territory food authority that provides abattoirs with special permission to conduct religious slaughter without prior stunning. These exemptions can apply to sheep, goats, cattle or poultry. If you are opposed to slaughter without prior stunning, take action below and have your say.