Non-stun slaughter

Key Issues



Livestock feel pain and that is why they need to be unconscious at the moment of slaughter. The large cut across the neck of conscious animals results in ‘very significant pain and distress’ before the animal loses consciousness (around 5-7 seconds for sheep, 22-40 seconds for adult cattle and up to 2 ½ minutes for poultry).


Livestock, especially sheep naturally flock together in slaughterhouses. If they are conscious, they scream while being slaughtered this acts as a signal to the others which exacerbates their trauma unnecessarily.

Amount of suffering

Some 2.4 million sheep and goats were killed without being stunned in Halal and Jewish Shechita abattoirs last year, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and FSA. According to the BVA, this has risen by 60 per cent in the past year.

Religious Opposition

According to an FSA report only 20% of Halal meat is non-stunned. However, this figure has been rising as the Islamic community attempts to revert to the more traditional method. Judaism on the other hand allows no form of stunning on kosher slaughtered meat.

Our Demands

  •  Ban non-stun slaughter in all its forms.
  • A standardised format of training for the use of stunning.
  • Refinement of the stunning process, to exclude water baths and controlled atmosphere killings.