Friday, July 15, 2011

Making kosher slaughter more humane

Dr. Temple Grandin is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University in the United States. She is also an engineer who designs highly complex cattle moving machinery which is used all over the world. She has written two books and many research papers.

when animals were led quietly into a restraining device where they stood upright, into a frame that supplied chin and head support, the animals had little or no reaction to the cut," She said that her observations in kosher slaughter houses where there was a poorly designed holder was that the cut allowed the neck to close back over the knife and it resulted in vigorous reactions from the cattle during the cut. She says that when a shochet uses a rapid cutting stroke, on a calm, upright animal, 95% of the calves she observed collapsed almost immediately. When the cut is done correctly, the bulls stood still and did not move the head restraint. Equal amounts of pressure were applied by the forehead bracket and the chin lift.

Upright restraint may provide the additional advantage of improved bleed out because the animal remains calmer and more relaxed. Observations indicate that a relaxed, calm animal has improved bleedout and a rapid onset of unconsciousness. Excited animals are more likely to have a slower bleedout. The use of a comfortable upright restraint device would be advantageous from a religious standpoint because rapid bleedout and maximum loss of blood obeys the Biblical principle of 'Only be sure that you eat not of the blood: for the blood is life.' Devarim: 12:23)."

Another interesting point in her article is the comparison of Jewish slaughter to Arab. She says that the Arabs use a short knife which causes definite distress and struggling in cattle.

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