Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Abattoirs and slaughterhouses are used as part of the final stage of processing of meat for human consumption.

What happens at an abattoir and slaughterhouse?

Farm animals are taken to slaughterhouses and abattoirs to be killed and prepared in a process that is heavily monitored according to animal welfare and hygiene regulations and it is a very important part of agriculture.

Slaughterhouses and abattoirs deal with all types of meat; from cattle, sheep and pigs to poultry and farmed game.

Almost all meat that is bought in the supermarkets has been produced by a slaughterhouse. Due to the sensitive nature of slaughter, slaughterhouses and abattoirs have certain responsibilities to uphold.

Your responsibilities on the job

There are certain responsibilities that you have to adhere to when your job is within the slaughterhouse environment.

In terms of food hygiene, all slaughterhouses must meet the regulations set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Slaughterhouses must be licensed, which means that they follow the regulations on ethical and hygienic animal slaughter.

In terms of animal welfare in slaughterhouses, it is an offence to cause an animal avoidable pain or suffering in the act of slaughter.

This means that employees of slaughterhouses have to adhere to specific rules on handling, stunning, or slaughter of animals.

Slaughterhouses must ensure that their employees have the knowledge and skill to do their job humanely and efficiently, using only permitted methods of slaughter.

Therefore, highly skilled individuals who are aware of the ethics and laws surrounding animal slaughter are highly sought after.

Farms which carry out their own slaughters must also have a license, unless it is being killed to prevent the spread of disease, after injury, or for private consumption. There are also a number of specialist religious slaughterhouses specialising in Jewish or Muslim slaughter practices.

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