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Posted 11 November 2010
In 11 November's Daily Mail, Danny Penman writes of his undercover visit to a British Halal slaughterhouse, where he witnessed goats and sheep being killed without having first been stunned. The sights and sounds he witnessed – ‘pitiful bleating and gurgling sounds as they choke on their own blood’ – stayed with him for days.
It is right to be outraged at this needless suffering of animals. But it is wrong to think that stunning animals before their throats are cut renders the whole process humane. Animal Aid’s recent undercover filming inside seven UK slaughterhouses, all of which stun animals, showed unbearable suffering, much of it caused by the stun process itself. Sending a bolt into the brain or trying to clamp electric tongs around the head of an animal who is moving doesn’t guarantee a swift loss of consciousness. On the contrary – it can cause immense additional suffering.
Animal Aid cannot judge whether one method is less appalling than the other. But it is clear that both methods cause terrible suffering and are wholly unnecessary.