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 worked 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.

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

Humane slaughter: our solution

Changes made in slaughterhouses following our training included:

  • 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:

  • Helped companies introduce policies and guidelines on humane slaughter
  • Called for legislation and codes of practice on humane slaughter
  • Worked with vet schools to introduce teaching on humane slaughter

Most importantly, humane slaughter is better for animals – but it also has economic benefits

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.

Learn more about our work to support 70 billion animals in farming.

En ko græsser

The value of training: in numbers

Free range dairy cow at Svanhold Gods organic farm in Denmark

Following our training, a lot changed at one Brazilian abattoir where 2000 cattle are slaughtered every day.

  • 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