SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Slaughterhouses

SPCA advocates for continuous improvement in the slaughter industry that will protect the welfare of all animals slaughtered for food.

SPCA advocates for slaughterhouse lairage that are clean, dry, have suitably ventilated shelter and offers protection from heat or cold stress for all animals who are waiting slaughter. The shelter must be appropriate and sufficient for the species and the numbers of animals contained within it to allow for each animal to be able to stand up or lie down in its own space. Animals from different farms should not be mixed in lairage. Animals awaiting slaughter in lairage must have access to feed and water. All facilities should be designed to facilitate low-stress, force-free handling.

(see Handling for details)

SPCA supports calls for mandatory CCTV cameras to be placed in all slaughterhouses and for these to be properly maintained and monitored by an independent panel to help ensure animals are treated and slaughtered humanely.

SPCA advocates for the proper training of all slaughterhouse workers, including practical experience and a detailed foundation in animal welfare.

SPCA supports the practice of slaughterhouse workers receiving ongoing training and assessment of appropriate animal handling and welfare knowledge relevant to the species killed within the premises. All slaughterhouse employees should receive ongoing training on low-stress, force-free handling of farmed animals.

(see Handling for more details)

SPCA opposes the practice of payment systems for slaughterhouse workers that base the rate of pay according to the number of animals killed.

This payment system may create incentives for employees to work in haste in an attempt to slaughter more animals in a given period, a practice which may lead to an increase in negative animal welfare consequences.

SPCA opposes any industrial stoppage or other significant delay at slaughter facilities which results in pain or distress to animals awaiting slaughter.

When strikes or lockouts occur, all parties must agree to the slaughter of all animals held in the slaughter facility or enroute to the site before the industrial stoppage takes effect. All farms due to send their animals for slaughter at that facility must be informed well in advance of the industrial stoppage so that they can reschedule the loading and transportation of their animals for a time when the animals can be immediately dealt with at the slaughterhouse.

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