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China Drafts "Humane" Standards for Animal Slaughter

Date: 19-Dec-07
Country: CHINA

The central province of Henan has already adopted the measures, which include stunning the animals before killing them, and herding pigs with plastic prods instead of electric ones.

"Since the quality of meat from China has drawn international attention, the Chinese government has conducted special treatment on this issue," the report quoted an official from the Administrative Office of Livestock Slaughtering as saying.

China, the world's biggest pork producer and consumer, has been under scrutiny over the safety of its food exports and food production standards after a series of health scares both at home and abroad.

It has also been widely criticised by rights groups for its inhumane treatment of animals, including bears farmed for their bile and dogs for their meat.

The draft recommended several methods to make the slaughter process more humane, including shortening the time between stunning and killing and setting unloading platforms at proper heights for pigs to disembark from trucks without being hurt.

"This is to reduce the degree of suffering. Animals, like human beings, can also get extremely scared," said Mi Yali, an expert in livestock slaughter.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom, Editing by Nick Macfie and Sanjeev Miglani)

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