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What are we doing?

We believe that the law must be improved and properly enforced to ensure that all farmed animals have a quiet, painless and humane end to their lives. We’re working in a number of different ways to try to achieve this.


To improve the slaughter/killing of animals we propose that:

  • The Animal Welfare Officer that EU legislation now requires must be appointed in every abattoir to oversee the welfare of all animals at the slaughterhouse, must be specially trained and competency tested to ensure that have the ability to undertake their duties effectively.
     
  • All slaughterpersons must be supervised, and be effectively trained and competent, to ensure they are aware of the importance of animal welfare and careful handling, and stun and stick animals properly.
     
  • For electrical stunning, methods should be used that stun and kill the animal at the same time wherever possible. Minimum stunning currents for each species should be required by law, with automatic recording to monitor the level of current used and the duration of the stunning.
     
  • Every abattoir should install effective CCTV systems with cameras placed in all areas of the abattoir where key handling, stunning and slaughter/killing operations are being undertaken. Footage should be stored and used for enforcement/monitoring and staff training purposes. We're supporting Animal Aid’s call for CCTV in slaughterhouses to help protect millions of farm animals. Take action and sign the petition for CCTV to be compulsory in all abattoirs.


Engaging with decision makers

Whenever possible, RSPCA staff visit abattoirs, view the practices, and give advice on how animal welfare improvements could be made. Our specialist farm animals department staff also work with governments (both UK and EU), food retailers, the slaughter and farming industries to encourage changes for the better.


Developing RSPCA welfare standards for farm animals

We are able to improve the lives of millions of farm animals each year using our RSPCA welfare standards for farm animals. These have been developed for nine of the major farmed animals in the UK and include hundreds of requirements to ensure higher standards of welfare for all animals reared accordingly. Each document includes sections of requirements, informed by scientific evidence and practical experience, to ensure humane handling and slaughter/killing.


Slaughter without pre-stunning (for religious purposes)

Please see our slaughter without pre-stunning (for religious purposes) page for details on what we are doing regarding the issue of the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning.


Find out how you can help improve the welfare of farm animals at the time of slaughter/killing.