Stunning of Poultry
STUNNING of meat-producing animals was originally used to render animals unconscious prior to slaughtering. Traditional slaughter practices in North America and Europe are based on Old Testament laws that are still practiced in the Jewish and Moslem religions. Under religious or ritual slaughter, animals must be killed under strict guidelines, many of which are based on solid health and sanitary principles. For example, animals acceptable for food must be killed and not allowed to die due to natural causes, disease or accident. Until fairly recently, commercial slaughter practices were based on such traditional methods and were not subject to intensive animal welfare issues. However, over the past several decades, animal welfare issues have started to influence commercial practices.