How are Animals Slaughtered


There are many ways in which animals are slaughtered. Some include humane ways that are pain-free for the animal while some are not so gentle to them. Here are the methods used for getting animals slaughtered:


Stunning can be either electrical or mechanical. Electrical stunning of animals includes subjecting the animal to a strong electric current once so that the animal becomes unconscious. The current is subjected to either the brain or the heart. Direct electrical stunning is used on large animals such as pigs or cattle. For smaller animals such as chicken, they are passed through electrically charged water to the sesame end.

Mechanical stunning involves the use of a captive bolt pistol. The captive bolt pistol is placed on the animal’s head. A single stunning shot is then fired against the animal’s head to render it unconscious. Humane animal slaughter can then follow. There are there types of captive bolt pistol i.e. free bolt, penetrating and non-penetrating. Non-penetrating and free bolt pistols are predominantly used.

Stunning is considered by many to be the most humane animal slaughter there is. When an animal is stunned it is rendered unconscious in an instant and there is no pain or emotional distress involved.


An animal can also be slaughtered using gas. In most cases, the animal is asphyxiated using carbon dioxide until it becomes unconscious. Various combinations of gases including nitrogen can also be used to render the animal unconscious before it is ultimately killed. Gassing animals is a time saver since all the animals can just be put into a single room, the gas released and all of them can become unconscious at the same time. However, it is not as painless a method of animal slaughter as stunning since the animals will take a few seconds to become unconscious depending on the concentration of the gas.


Firearms are a very common way of animal slaughter especially where there are large free range animals. The guns can be loaded with a live bullet which, when aimed at the head or the heart of the animal, is expected to kill it. The firearm can also be a tranquilizer gun which is expected to induce unconsciousness in the animal before it can be slaughtered. A drug that can quickly kill the animal can also be administered if it is judged that the meat will still be fit for human consumption afterwards.

Traditional Methods

Most methods of traditional animal slaughter involve exsanguination. Exsanguination involves the beheading of the animal, slitting its throat or driving a blade or stick into the animal’s heart. Cutting into some of the animal’s major blood vessels is also a traditional method used particularly where fresh blood is of importance to the consumers. Exsanguination is considered to be the least humane method of animal slaughter since it takes the most time and subjects the animal to the most pain. It also involves the most brutality on the part of the animal’s executioner. However, where people have no other tools, it is the only option.

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