After a public release of a certain video of animal cruelty found within a halal slaughterhouse, there has been a certain amount of "noise" regarding animal cruelty :-
For the benefit of those too sensible to hit "play", some of the most striking things about the video :-
- The workers have no compunction about treating the animals with a great deal of cruelty including taunting them.
- Supervision seems to be non-existent.
- The "quick cut with a sharp knife" seems to be a slow sawing with a blunt penknife.
I should say from the beginning that I'm a vegetarian so I'm unlikely to be sympathetic to the problems encountered by slaughterhouses (shut 'em all!). I'm also an atheist so I'm unlikely to have sympathy for religious beliefs insisting on medieval slaughterhouse techniques (if you can find a sheep that requests Halal or Kosher execution, then by all means go ahead).
But the reaction to the videos has seemed to concentrate on point 3 above, Or more specifically the need to kill by a quick cut of a knife.
Whilst I'm not keen in the quick cut method, it does seem to me that the cruelty of that method is outweighed by far, by the attitude of the slaughterhouse staff and the design of the slaughterhouse. In other words, I can easily imagine seeing a video portraying pretty much the same level of cruelty when the slaughterhouse staff are wielding a stunbolt gun.
It seems to me that to reduce the level of cruelty, we need to have robust supervision by people who are not going to put up with any kind of abuse. People with the power to hit the big red button, and send everyone home for the day.
Yes, there's an argument about whether the requirements for Halal and Kosher count as animal cruelty, but this video shows far more generalised animal cruelty that can be found at any badly run slaughterhouse. The question is: Just how many slaughterhouses are badly run?