Humane slaughter: how we reduce animal suffering

Since 2007, our work to promote humane slaughter in Brazil and China has helped more than eight billion animals

Supporting humane slaughter

Millions of farm animals face unnecessary stress and suffering before and during slaughter – because workers lack the expertise, skills and technology to ensure humane treatment. So we work with food companies, governments and scientists in Brazil, China and Indonesia to encourage humane slaughter. And our work with partners is helping vets in Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines introduce humane slaughter too.

Humane slaughter: our solution

Changes made in slaughterhouses following our training include:

  • Use of humane handling techniques
  • Pre-slaughter stunning, which stops animals feeling pain
  • Correct use of stunning and restraining equipment
  • Handling pigs in groups to reduce stress on individual animals
  • Installation of blue lamps to calm poultry
  • Use of non-slip floors and low-angle ramps to stop animals falling and getting injured.

To make sure change lasts, we:

  • Help companies introduce policies and guidelines on humane slaughter
  • Call for legislation and codes of practice on humane slaughter
  • Work with vet schools to introduce teaching on humane slaughter.

Benefits for business

A five-year study of our humane slaughter training found that abattoirs earned a better reputation by using humane methods, helping them compete globally. Staff morale improved too. And because fewer animals were injured, fewer carcasses were bruised – improving meat quality. In one slaughter plant in Brazil, 63% fewer animals were bruised following our training.

To reduce animal suffering, we offer straightforward, practical advice and training to help companies and governments to take action

Tell the world:

Did you know?

We trained nearly 6,000 people in slaughterhouses and at food companies in Brazil. Following our training at one Brazilian abattoir where 2000 cattle are slaughtered every day, we saw:

81% reduction in animals slipping
89% reduction in animals falling
53% reduction in use of prodding equipment

Now learn what we're doing for farm animal welfare in the most intensive farms