Special Issue "Humane slaughter of Animals"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Welfare".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2020) | Viewed by 13856

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Emily Patterson-Kane
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Animal Welfare Division, American Veterinary Medical Association, Schaumburg, IL, USA
Interests: animal behavior; animal welfare; operant conditioning; environmental enrichment; Rattus norvegicus
Dr. Terry L. Whiting
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Manitoba Agriculture, 545 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5S6, Canada
Interests: animal health; animal welfare; emergency animal killing; killing for disease control purposes;

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The literature on the humane slaughter of animals is commonly limited to the technical and physiological aspects of the immediate temporal period of the transition from live animal to carcass. In the 10,000 years of co-evolution of non-human livestock and humans, the meaning of humane slaughter and its conceptualization is much greater than the method of rendering dead the previously known and recognized individual life. The long-standing human practice of raising others for the purpose of killing and eating has recruited social, anthropological, and religious meanings that call for articulate identification and critical re-evaluation. For the purposes of this Special Issue, the practice of humane slaughter includes all those “normalizing” activities that allow for the perpetuation of the human practice of creating, caring for, and intentionally killing sentient beings not greatly dissimilar from the human self.

This Special Issue is interested in reviews, original reports, and academic position papers from all disciplines that have a focus on human conceptualization of right and good in relation to non-human animal use in the production of food for human and companion animal consumption. Reports of innovations in and examinations of the wellbeing of livestock and people within the geography of the slaughterhouse are encouraged. A preference will be given to manuscripts that clearly articulate new or under-studied areas of the multicultural traditions of livestock consumption for future research.

 

Dr. Emily Patterson-Kane,

 Dr. Terry L. Whiting

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • meaning of meat
  • animals and human identity
  • religious use of blood and sacrifice
  • “surplus” animals
  • veterinary “dirty work”
  • animals
  • dirty work
  • employee wellbeing
  • identity
  • meaning at work
  • occupational prestige
  • slaughterhouse workers
  • strain
  • stress

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Evaluation of Poultry Stunning with Low Atmospheric Pressure, Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen Using a Single Aversion Testing Paradigm
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081308 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) has been suggested for use in poultry under 4 kg in the abattoir as a more humane alternative to carbon dioxide (CO2). However, there are currently no studies offering a direct comparison of the aversion between [...] Read more.
Low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) has been suggested for use in poultry under 4 kg in the abattoir as a more humane alternative to carbon dioxide (CO2). However, there are currently no studies offering a direct comparison of the aversion between methods. Here, we trained adult female broiler breeders to relinquish a food reward by moving to another area of the gas chamber in response to aversive stimuli. They were then stunned and subsequently killed using single exposure to either CO2, N2, LAPS or medical air as a control. Birds exposed to CO2 relinquished the food reward the quickest and exhibited gasping and headshaking more than the other groups. LAPS resulted in the quickest time to loss of posture (LOP) and birds in the N2 group took the longest. Birds exposed to N2 displayed the longest duration of ataxia of any group; however, they did not show any wing-flapping prior to LOP, unlike the LAPS and CO2. Collectively these data demonstrate that both LAPS and N2 are less aversive to poultry than CO2 and may offer a significant welfare refinement for poultry killed for meat production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane slaughter of Animals)
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Article
Determination of Dairy Cattle Euthanasia Criteria and Analysis of Barriers to Humane Euthanasia in the United States: The Veterinarian Perspective
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061051 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
When dairy cattle become ill or injured to the extent that recovery is unlikely or impossible, on-farm euthanasia should be used as a tool to eliminate pain and suffering. Our study aimed to identify decision-making criteria and the most common factors considered by [...] Read more.
When dairy cattle become ill or injured to the extent that recovery is unlikely or impossible, on-farm euthanasia should be used as a tool to eliminate pain and suffering. Our study aimed to identify decision-making criteria and the most common factors considered by veterinarians when making and carrying out euthanasia decisions. Dairy cattle veterinarians were recruited to participate in an online survey (Part I, 61 surveys collected) or in one of three focus groups (Part II, 4–10 veterinarians/group, n = 22). Part I (survey): Surveyed veterinarians varied regarding health condition management and demonstrated a strong proclivity to treat compromised cattle, mirroring trends amongst dairy producers identified in previous research. Sixty percent of respondents indicated that most facilities for which they serve as the primary veterinarian have a written euthanasia protocol in place. Part II (focus groups): Three main themes about euthanasia decision-making (logistical, animal, and human) were identified from focus group discussions. Discussions focused primarily on logistical factors such as financial considerations and client/public perceptions. Development of specific standards for euthanasia, alongside interactive training programs for dairy veterinarians and producers are vital next steps to improving cattle welfare and consistency in euthanasia decision-making across the United States dairy industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane slaughter of Animals)
Article
Is Humane Slaughter Possible?
Animals 2020, 10(5), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050799 - 05 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 7911
Abstract
One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter [...] Read more.
One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter animals, to minimise the harm done during this process. In this paper, we take a philosophical look at what it means to perform slaughter humanely, beyond simply reducing pain and suffering during the slaughter process. In particular, we will examine the issue of the harms of deprivation inflicted in ending life prematurely, as well as shape of life concerns and the ethical implications of inflicting these harms at the end of life, without the potential for future offsetting through positive experiences. We will argue that though these considerations may mean that no slaughter is in a deep sense truly ‘humane’, this should not undermine the importance of further research and development to ensure that while the practice continues, animal welfare harms are minimised as far as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane slaughter of Animals)
Article
Determination of Dairy Cattle Euthanasia Criteria and Analysis of Barriers to Humane Euthanasia in the United States: Dairy Producer Surveys and Focus Groups
Animals 2020, 10(5), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050770 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
There are currently no clear guidelines in the US and some other countries regarding euthanasia decision making timelines for dairy cattle that become injured or ill to the extent that recovery is unlikely or impossible. Our study aimed to identify decision making criteria [...] Read more.
There are currently no clear guidelines in the US and some other countries regarding euthanasia decision making timelines for dairy cattle that become injured or ill to the extent that recovery is unlikely or impossible. Our study aimed to identify decision making criteria and the most common factors considered when making and carrying out euthanasia decisions. Dairy producers were recruited to participate in a mailed survey (Part I, 307 completed surveys were returned) or in one of three focus groups (Part II, 8–10 producers/group, n = 24). Part I (survey): Farm owners were most commonly responsible for on-farm euthanasia and most respondents would treat and monitor compromised cattle for a majority of 15 health conditions. Responses were highly variable; for example, 6.3% and 11.7% of respondents would never euthanize a non-ambulatory cow or calf, respectively. Part II (focus groups): Three main themes (animal, human, and farm operation) were identified from discussion which focused primarily on animal welfare (16% of the discussion) and human psychology (16%). Participants expressed a desire to eliminate animal suffering by euthanizing, alongside a wide range of emotional states. Development of specific standards for euthanasia is a critical next step and more research is needed to understand the human emotions surrounding euthanasia decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane slaughter of Animals)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Legal Regulation of Religious Slaughter in Australia: Failure to Regulate or a Regulatory Fail?
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091530 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
While religious slaughter is not a new practice in Australia, it has recently attracted public concern regarding questions of animal welfare following unfavourable media coverage. However, the details of religious slaughter practices, including related animal welfare provisions, appear to be poorly understood by [...] Read more.
While religious slaughter is not a new practice in Australia, it has recently attracted public concern regarding questions of animal welfare following unfavourable media coverage. However, the details of religious slaughter practices, including related animal welfare provisions, appear to be poorly understood by the Australian public, and no existing literature concisely synthesises current regulations, practices, and issues. This paper addresses this gap by examining the processes associated with various types of religious slaughter and associated animal welfare issues, by reviewing the relevant legislation and examining public views, while highlighting areas for further research, particularly in Australia. The paper finds shortcomings in relation to transparency and understanding of current practices and regulation and suggests a need for more clear and consistent legislative provisions, as well as increased independence from industry in the setting of the standards, enforcement and administration of religious slaughter. A starting point for legal reform would be the relocation of important provisions pertaining to religious slaughter from delegated codes to the responsible act or regulation, ensuring proper parliamentary oversight. In addition, more active public engagement must occur, particularly with regard to what constitutes legal practices and animal welfare standards in the Australian context to overcome ongoing conflict between those who oppose religious slaughter and the Muslim and Jewish communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane slaughter of Animals)
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