Dalit’s Diary - Weekly Newspaper On Web
Working For The Rights & Survival Of The Oppressed
Editor: NAGARAJA.M.R… VOL.11 issue.28…… . 19 / 07 / 2017
SHOCKING IMAGES : Dark Side of Eating Meat
ADULTS ONLY Watch video :
Editorial : Dalits , Muslims & Cow Slaughter
- An Appeal to H.E.President of India
Bigger stronger animal feeds on smaller weak animal. Law of Nature. In the same way , all over the world in a particular area or a country stronger majority community subjugates the weak , smaller communities.
Since centuries dalits were subjugated into doing menial jobs and their livelihood depended on whatever was thrown at them. Civilizations dawned , people became civilized in their outlook , but deep inside uncivilized , animal resides in many people.
There are good as well as bad people in all communities, religions & all walks of life. Whenever a terrorist strike happens , Muslims are blamed. For all miseries in India , Dalits are blamed. Just imagine if there was no barber , how civilized a person will be without hair cutting ? Just think there is no sweeper to clean drainage line , how houses , roads will be full of excreta , human rejections , how stinky & disease prone it will be ?
Dalits are doing yeoman commendable service to society , keeping all the others in a civilized manner in a healthy environment. Nobody recognizes their service. Since centuries , dalits were entrusted with the job of removing carcass of cattles, it was not their choice, it was mandated by majority community at that time. Being utterly poor , dalits depended on cattle meat for food and used bones , hides for footwear , etc. . Now , few individuals all of a sudden are trying to turn upside down , this centuries old practice and cow vigilantes are attacking dalits. Few are taking law into their hands. What three great acharyas – Sri Shankaracharya , Sri Ramanujacharya , Sri Madhwacharya failed to achieve , what Sri Gowthama Buddha , Sri Mahaveera failed to achieve stopping animal killing , now cow vigilantes are trying to achieve the same with violence.
Say , after two decades few groups , individuals will proclaim everybody must stop eating vegetarian food . Then can all veggies turn into non veg , not feasible. With regards to certain section of society eating non veg is a taboo , with others non veg with exclusion of beef , pork is ok. Food is the choice of individual.
Now , let us see the facts for practical way forward :
1. Since centuries Dalits are in the profession of cow slaughter not by choice , but by compulsion of times.
2. Since centuries dalits & others are eating beef as it is cheaper than other meat.
3. Cows are holy for hindus equivalent to mother herself and equivalent to god. Cow products are used since centuries in hindu religious rituals.
4. In rural house holds , when a mother dies while delivering baby or when a mother cann’t breast feed baby due to lack of milk , COW in the house hold becomes a surrogate mother for the baby. Baby feeds , lives on cow’s milk.
5. Inspite of such great respect many hindu folk sell old , barren , diseased cows to muslim or dalit buyers knowing fully well that buyer cann’t get milk from the cow only he can get meat & hide from slaughtering it. Some hindu folk drive away old , diseased , barren cows from their home. It is same as driving away old , diseased mother , deserting our own mother.
6. In many Islamic countries , jewish countries pig meat / pork is banned , hindus & Christians who go to such countries for job / business abide by laws of Islamic countries. They give up eating pork although way back in their home countries they consume pork.
Practical Way Forward :
1. Banning cow slaughter , beef is ok in national interest , in the interest of religious sentiments of a community.
2. Government must provide alternate food items to consumers at affordable prices than beef.
3. Government must extend helping hand to Dalits , Muslims who are in cow slaughter trade to switch over to other business.
4. Government must charge sheet the seller of cows , deserter of cows not merely transporter , buyer or the butcher.
5. Government must discourage farmers from rearing cattles when they are incapable of looking after old cattles.
6. Government must educate people about reducing milk products consumption; When Milk products consumption reduces automatically rearing of cattle reduces.
7. Most important of all , when a pork eating Indian goes to Saudi Arabia on job assignment and lives there for two decades. When he can simply give up pork , follow the rule of pork ban and change his dietary habbits , why cann’t others reciprocate the same here with respect to beef ban.
8. Government must adopt a way of educating people about good dietary habbits rather than policy of stick.
9. Cow vigilantes who take law into their own hands instead of reporting to authorities must be legally prosecuted.
10. Government must set up FREE Cow sheds with adequate fodder supplies all over the country on urgent basis to accommodate orphaned cows , diseased cows and old cows. If government fails to set up it proves it’s vanity.
Bottomline : As per scientific studies , human beings digestive system has evolved to digest vegetarian food not non vegetarian food. Choice is left to consumers.
By SKN WEB - Tuesday, April 28, 2015
India tops in cow slaughterhouse and most slaughtering are doing Hindus. Recently I just came to know about the slaughterhouse rank in India, and most slaughtering are doing Hindus. After Brazil India is second highest, below is a pathetic story about slaughterhouse processes. Here India’s largest al Kabeer slaughterhouse taken in. I am not sure about the authenticity of this write-up, please being verified yourself.
. Rudraram Village, Andhra Pradesh, Patancheru, Medak, Hyderabad – 500 033.
Do you know that the biggest cow slaughterhouse (cow killing factory) in the WORLD is located just 30 km from Hyderabad in “Rudraram village” near Patancheru. It is called Alkabir in built nearly 400 acres of land with High security and most workers are Hindus. The story of Al-Kabir Hyderabad Tyranny: Don’t think that these animals are killed easily and painlessly. Their agonies start along before they are dead. They are brought to Alkair in trucks, from far away distances for economy, 20-25 huge buffalo are stacked up in each truck. Nobody cares to feed them food, or even water while in transit. They are packed so tightly in the truck, that they are hurt by each other. By the time they arrive, they are no more capable of standing on their own feet! They are moved with force of whips…
They are brought into the final ground, where at least a thousand animals are stored. This is their last open air. They are kept here for four days, hungry and thirsty. Then their legs are broken and eyes poked, so that a ‘Certificate’ can be obtained about their uselessness. The hunger and thirst of four days cause the hemoglobin to move from blood in to fat. The meat with higher hemoglobin fetches better prices.
Now these animals are pushed into washing showers. Extremely hot water (200 degrees centigrade!) is sprayed on them for five minutes, to soften their skins, so they will be easy to remove. The animal’s faints at this point, but it is not dead yet. Now it is hung upside down with one leg, on a chain-pulley conveyor. Then half of the neck is slit. This drains the blood, but does not kill the animal. After death, the skin swells thick, which sells for a poor price. But the skin of live Animals is still thin, which has better economic value. On one side the blood is dripping from the neck, and on the other side a hole is made in stomach, from which air is pumped inside. This causes the body to swell, making it easier to peel the skin. After removing the leather, the animal is cut into four pieces: head, legs, body, and tail.
The machines remove bones, and pack small pieces of meat into cans for shipping to Alkabir’s headquarters in Hyderabad. From there it is shipped to Mumbai for exporting to its final destination. Working! Most of the people working here are Hindus. The Director, is an NRI in Dubai, and his brother, , manages the plant. The other principals are , , etc. Even though the main workers on cutting machines are from Kerala and Muslims from Mumbai, the administration, security, etc. consists mainly of Hindus.
There are several other equally large (or large) plants in India, owned and operated similarly by NRI’s and Arab citizens in cooperation. The people working here are paid very handsomely. This is a big attraction. A monthly salary of Rs. 50,000 to 75,000 is common. At the site, there are many veterinarians, but their job is not to save healthy live. Their only concern is to see that the meat does not carry any germs which may hurt the customers. In fact, there is a small army of government veterinarians, whose job is to see that healthy and useful animals do not get butchered. But these corrupt officials write false certificates according to wishes of Alkabir. You cannot easily enter Alkabir, because outside people are not allowed in there. Even the local veterinarians and police cannot go inside, so there is no question about the other local poor people even coming close to its boundaries…Security is tightened at nights with hunting dogs. Now the neighboring people do not even come close to it.
Beef exports up in 4 years, is top seller - The Times of India
Beef exports up in 4 years, is top seller - The Center's Pink Revolution to promote meat production and export has led to a increase in meat consumption and export in four years, but it has failed to regulate...
World Beef Exports: Ranking Of Countries
World Beef Exports: Ranking Of Countries Four (4) countries exported more than 1.1 million metric tons of beef in 2013: Brazil, India, Australia & the United States.
AGAINST CRUELTY IN INHUMAN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
"...Everyday millions of people go to McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken and enjoy a juicy hamburger or consume a crispy, golden-fried chicken. Billions of families around the world eat meat and share laughs together over the dinner table. But, what goes on behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses before producers deliver perfectly packaged meat to our grocery stores?
Employees of Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of the biggest fast-food chains of poultry, were caught in July 2004, torturing their chickens for fun. Workers were videoed stomping on chickens, kicking them, and slamming them violently against floors and walls. Workers also ripped the animals' beaks, twisted their heads off, spray-painted their faces, and squeezed the chickens' bodies until they would die.
Each year a person will consume 230 pounds of meat. Together, the world consumes 2.6 billion pounds of dairy cow a year. Eight billion animals a year are slaughtered for food. However, the conditions under which they are processed are brutal. For example, animals are supposed to have space when they are transported but instead they are packed together, not having any room to move, walk, and barely breathe. This causes many animals to become sick. Some die on the way.
In fact, half a million animals a year that arrive at slaughterhouses are either dead or in unacceptable condition for slaughter. Many of the remaining animals have broken limbs. Even these are further injured when they are unloaded.
Other forms of brutality include the "Halal method," where the animal's neck is slit in two and a half spots and, while conscious, allowed to bleed to death. A similar "method" is hanging the live, fully conscious animals upside down while their carotid arteries are cut.
Once aware of these procedures, many fast-food fans are reconsidering their diets. "It is repulsive and sick what is being committed by humans to animals in the U.S.," said Ashley Coutier, a resident of Sparta. "It should be stopped as soon as possible."
In 1960, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was passed, but unfortunately everyday laws are violated, and the truth needs come out. "I have heard about some of the things slaughterhouses do, but there are some things I just don't want to know and I am better off not knowing about," said Steve Snow, a sophomore at Sparta High School..."
"...A wise woman named Linda McCartney once said, %u201CIf slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone in the world would be a vegetarian%u201D.
This is one of the truest statements ever made. If people thought about or saw what really happens to animals in slaughterhouses for more than a second, it would get to them and they would not be able to bring themselves to still be a carnivore. Those animals endure some of the cruelest treatment and neglect. Also, slaughterhouses are kept in the most unsanitary conditions and violate more laws then almost any other business. The slaughter of animals for human consumption should be banned.
First of all, the statistics show it would benefit land, animals%u2019 lives, and the grain and food supply if we stopped eating meat. Each person consumes 230 pounds of animals each year. Together we consume 2.6 billion pounds of dairy cow a year. There has been an increase in the amount of animals we consume and how much grain it%u2019s taking to feed them. Eight billion animals a year are slaughtered for food. [Ed. note: In 2002 the total was ten billion.]
The breakdown of each animal that is slaughtered is 38 million cows and calves, 95 million hogs, 5 million sheep and goats, 278 million turkeys, 20 million ducks, and over 7 billion chickens. The average cow should live 20 years but because they are not allowed to have a normal life and they are just raised to be slaughtered, the average life expectancy is 6 to 8 years, and sometimes even then the cows only live to 14 months. The amount of animals that are raised annually for slaughter is 30 times more then the total human population in the US, and more then the number of humans in the world.
Twenty years ago livestock consumed 6% of Mexico%u2019s grain and today they consume nearly 50%, and in Canada 77% of their grain is used to raise livestock. If American countries alone would reduce their meat consumption by just 10% that would save enough grain to feed 60 million people. The reality is it takes 4 acres of land to feed a meat eater, but only 1/2 an acre or less to feed a vegetarian. On 1/2 an acre of land 10,000lbs of apples and 20,000lbs of potatoes can be grown successfully into food. Only 100lbs of beef can be raised on that. Over a lifetime, a vegetarian will save 21 cows, 14 sheep, 12 hogs, and 1400 chickens from being slaughtered. They will also save 1 acre of trees a year from being cut down.
Slaughterhouses shouldn%u2019t be allowed to still be in operation. They have violated almost every restriction, law, and rule that has been placed on their industry. Almost everything added to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 1960 is being violated. It%u2019s known that no matter what the animals condition is the butcher takes it into their own hands to make the most money possible. There are rules about loading and unloading that are broken every second. The animals are supposed to have space when they are transported but instead they are packed together like sardines.
There are rules about cruelty to animals such as no torturing or subjecting them to unnecessary pain and suffering, and no keeping them in cages that there is not sufficient room to go with their measurements. One of the biggest issues is that the animals are not supposed to be exposed to their own kind getting slaughtered, but they are constantly having to watch their own kind getting dragged mercilessly to their brutal death. It%u2019s also against the law to slaughter animals below 6 months, pregnant animals, sick animals, and young animals who are supplying milk. A slaughterhouse in Texas had 22 violations during a period of 6 months. During one of those inspections there were 9 live cattle found dangling from an overhead chain. Yet this is how slaughterhouses operate over and over again each day. It doesn%u2019t help that cases against them are usually not pursued because venturing deep into slaughterhouses is not an idea liked by officials. Transporting animals should be like transporting a human, each one having their own space and each one being reasonably taken care of.
However, if people were treated like the livestock while riding a bus or any other kind of transportation, many people would be facing serious charges. Just because it is abuse to an animal and not a human doesn%u2019t mean any less should be done about it. Animals are packed and pressed together so close into vehicles that they can%u2019t move and can barley breathe. A lot of times just in the process of loading the animals they will trample each other to death and blind one another with their horns. The law states that in that process they should have food, water, veterinary services, and protection from natural elements (wind, rain, fire, etc.). That is the care that any living thing should be entitled too. Those poor animals don%u2019t ever get to see a drop of any of those things though. While getting an animal from a distant place into the city where they are loaded, the animals are sometimes made to run there.
No matter what the whether conditions are. Red chili powder is put in their eyes in order to force them to run faster. They are beaten and severely tortured just to accomplish getting them to a destination. Sometimes the drivers of the vehicles make fast turns and stops that causes the animals to get knocked around and injured. The animals fall on each other which causes suffocation and more broken bones. When it finally comes down to unloading the animals, the condition they are in is appalling. Half a million animals a year that arrive at slaughterhouses are dead or in unacceptable condition for slaughter. Other animals are half dead but are still just picked up and thrown down on the concrete. Many have broken limbs but are further injured when they are getting unloaded. The handlers don%u2019t bother with kindness or care because they figure they are going to face the butchers knife anyway.
While keeping the animals before it%u2019s their time to be slaughtered they endure a series of inhumane procedures and treatment. PETA described what they witnessed one morning at a slaughterhouse %u201CBy 10:00 a.m. there were already more than a dozen downed cattle. One bull kept trying to rise to his feet but could not. He struggled before collapsing under the scorching sun, blood oozing out of his nose; his legs and horns broken.%u201D This is one example of what someone saw, but there are things that happen like that every day.
There is also a videotape that was secretly set up in an Iowa pork plant that caught live hogs squealing and kicking as they were being lowered into a tank of water. Unfortunately, there are things that are more unbelievable then that which happen and have not been caught on tape yet. However, even though it%u2019s not captured on tape we do know some other things that happen in slaughterhouses. Some of the treatment includes the use of electric prods, castration with no anesthetic, branding and tail docking with no pain relief, and hot iron de-horning with no pain relief. The de-horning involves pressing scorching heat onto the calves horns for a full 30 seconds then repeating it on the other side for another 30 seconds. Also, de-beaking with no pain relief. For that they use hot glue guns or cigarette lighters to cut through bone, cartilage, and tissue of the birds. In a different part of the slaughter house there may be birds that are alive and dangling by their feet on metal hooks. Electricity stuns them as they roll on the line for the neck blade to come down and kill them. Other handling that the animals are subjected to is the hens are forced into a schedule that restricts their water for 2 weeks and cows are limited to 2 milkings a day, when they are supposed to have 6. The average life span of a hen is 16 years but with what they endure in slaughterhouses it%u2019s shortened to 18 months. Roosters aren%u2019t that lucky, they are gassed right away and their remains are sent to rendering plants. Others don%u2019t get to be put out of their misery so fast.
There are animals that have their legs broken or hacked off so they can%u2019t run away. Some animals who are incapacitated are left laying around for days, suffering much neglect. If they%u2019re left laying outside long enough, a number of them freeze to death in the winter and fry to death in the summer. Many of the animals suffer the equivalent to that when they are dragged with chains and pushed with tractors, causing torn ligaments and broken bones.
The way in which the animals are slaughtered is tragic. The animals suffer copious amounts of pain and are sometimes alive and alert when they are being slaughtered. Every animal is supposed to be separated from others, be rendered unconscious, and then be slaughtered. They are not supposed to be dragged by their legs, ears, and horns. However, that usually is how it is done.
There are a few methods of slaughtering that are practiced, and not one is humane and how it%u2019s supposed to be done. One is decapitating the animal. Another is the Halal method where the neck is slit in 2 1/2 spots while they are conscious and that forces them to bleed to death. In that case the animal is alive and aware that they are severely bleeding and they are in excruciating pain. Burying an animal%u2019s head in the ground is not a common practice but it is still used. That way they are suffocated to death. One of the most mortifying ways of slaughtering is %u201Csticking a long iron rod through the anal opening, through the body, and making it emerge through the mouth%u201D.
All the while the animal, usually a pig, is squealing endlessly. Sometimes there is not even that much effort put into slaughtering the animal and they will just burn them to death. Cattle are many times stunned in the head with a steel bolt, their throats are slit, then they are left laying around to bleed to death. The bleeding method is used when they want the least damage to the carcass as possible. The animal is cut in a place where they will bleed the fastest. One man that has worked in a slaughterhouse says %u201CThey blink. They make noises. The head moves, the eyes are wide and looking around%u201D. He watches animals die a slow and painful death everyday when the animals are perfectly alive and conscious. He also said, %u201CSome would survive as far as the tail cutter, the belly ripper, and the hide puller. They die, piece by piece". Many animals do make it as far as being skinned when they are still living and feeling pain to the fullest.
Last of all, slaughterhouses do the least proficient job of cleaning up after animals are killed. It would be bad enough living near a slaughterhouse, but many neighbors say the worst thing is not the thought. They are constantly inhaling the nauseating stench each and every day. Neighbors also have entrails, skin, joints, and blood being dropped onto their property. Birds of prey get a hold of the barley disposed remains, fly away with them, then drop it on the near by people%u2019s land. There are usually rivers of blood flowing around the slaughterhouses and sometimes make it as far as to where the neighbors can see or smell it. The bones are boiled on the slaughter house premise which causes them to create further pollution and stench. The skins are sitting around outside in piles, sometimes for long periods of time, waiting for the tanneries to come pick them up. In unsanitary towns the carcasses are transported around with out being frozen. The water flowing through slaughterhouses go through treatment tanks like public sewers and then they end up spilling into creeks and rivers, generating more pollution. A number of slaughter houses have been ordered to add more washers and thorouly clean up. The evidence shows that many have not followed that order because the swelling of the rivers have not gone down yet.
Slaughterhouses have no right to be doing what they are doing. They perform every operation illegally. They don%u2019t give the animals food, water, shelter, veterinary services, or humane treatment. There is a pile of violations on them and yet they still continue to break more laws. Then on top of that they cause pollution and a disturbance to their surrounding neighbors. For some reason they think that in their industry they are allowed to make their own rules and do business however they please.
We need to show them that that%u2019s not allowed by shutting them down right away.
SOLUTIONS WE REQUIRE (THESE OR BETTER):
"First, rules must be clear so that enforcement is not an inherently subjective process prone to mistakes and abuse. In particular, the downer loophole must be closed. ...The current flawed rule depends on plant workers summoning a USDA inspector back to reevaluate an animal who becomes nonambulatory after initial inspection, in order for the inspector to decide if the animal can be slaughtered, a system that seems bound to fail given the enormous pressure plant workers are under by their company superiors to move the maximum number of animals quickly to slaughter. This system creates financial incentives for precisely those abuses that we witnessed in the undercover footage....
"For the animals, removing current incentives that encourage workers to try every cruel tactic imaginable to move downers to the kill box would alleviate suffering. If crippled animals cannot be sold for food, slaughter plants have no reason to prolong their misery to try to get them through the slaughter process."
Temple Grandin, Professor, Colorado State University and author of Animals in Translation, testified, " I have worked for over 30 years to improve the treatment of animals at slaughter plants. Half the cattle and 25% of the pigs are handled in facilities I have designed. ...The recent video of dairy cows being tortured with a forklift made me sick. The abuse of cattle at this plant was 100% caused by a lack of employee supervision and a complete failure of the USDA inspectors. The Humane Slaughter Act prohibits dragging of crippled animals, and it was not enforced.....
"[M]any of the ... regulations are vague and subject to different interpretations. Inspectors need better training and clear directives to improve consistency. It is impossible for different inspectors to be consistent when vague terminology is used such as %u2018unnecessary pain and suffering.'"
Grandin explained, "The present system of USDA inspection is like having traffic police giving out speeding tickets when they think cars are speeding. Police departments are able to enforce the speed limits in a uniform manner because the officer MEASURES a car's speed with radar. The decision to pull a car over is based on a measurement, not subjective judgment of speed. For other traffic rules such as being in the wrong lane, the rules are very clearly written so that the officers will interpret them the same way."
Grandin recommended clear bans on certain practices. She further recommended "animal based outcome standards [measured with] numerical scoring. For example, the percentage of animals that fall during handling can be caused by either a slick floor or rough handling by people. Falling is an outcome of bad equipment, poorly trained people, or very weak cows that should have never been brought to the plant. Measuring the percentage of cows that fall at a plant is a sensitive indicator of three different types of problems [which can then be corrected]. The percentage of cattle falling can never be zero, so falling cannot be banned, but it should be kept at a very low level."
Grandin developed a numerical scoring system during a survey in 1996 of slaughter plants.
Grandin concluded, "I recommend that the USDA adopt numerical scoring to make enforcement of the Humane Slaughter Act more uniform and to uphold higher standards. Many progressive inspectors are already informally using it. For the practices that are prohibited, a handbook of very clear guidelines is needed for enforcement. It would list prohibited practices where there is a zero tolerance."
Brussels - The European Commission on Thursday called for new rules aimed at reducing animal suffering in Europe's butcheries.
Under the proposals, slaughterhouses should appoint a trained staffer responsible for ensuring that animals are being treated humanely.
Such a person would, among other things, have to ensure that animals which are stunned do not regain consciousness before they are slaughtered.
Manufacturers of stunning equipment would have to provide detailed instructions on how to stun animals, while European governments would have to create research centres tasked with assisting official inspectors.
"As a society we have a duty of care to animals, which includes minimising distress and avoiding pain throughout the slaughtering process," said EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.
Vassiliou's proposals, which are not likely to be approved by EU governments until next year, were welcomed by animal-rights groups.
"These proposals are a step in the right direction and will benefit millions of animals," said Sonja Van Tichelen of Eurogroup for Animals, a pressure group.
"It is unacceptable in a civilised society that animals have to suffer in their final moments. So much of their suffering can be avoided or decreased by having well-trained staff and by using appropriate stunning techniques," Van Tichelen said.
Groups representing meat traders and slaughterhouses said they still needed to study the proposals to find out whether such measures would result in higher production costs.
"A good cost-benefit analysis is necessary. Generally speaking we cannot be against measures that aim at protecting animals," said Jean-Luc Meriaux of the European Livestock and Meat Trading Union.
Officials in Brussels note that smaller slaughterhouses may be exempted from the new rules.
Nearly 360 million pigs, sheep, goats and cattle, as well as several billion poultry, are killed in EU slaughterhouses each year.
A further 25 million animals are slaughtered by the fur industry, according to commission figures.
To ensure fair competition, the commission's proposals would also apply to non-EU producers who export their products to member states. (dpa)
EU wants welfare officers in slaughterhouses
Slaughterhouses throughout the EU could be obliged to appoint special officers for animal welfare who are to ensure that pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and poultry are humanely treated at the time of their killing, according to European Commission proposals unveiled on Thursday (18 October).
If approved by all 27 member states, the European Commission's proposal will "integrate welfare considerations into the design of slaughterhouses," requiring the killing techniques to be constantly monitored.
A cow restrained for stunning ahead of slaughter
Abattoirs will have to appoint a specific person responsible for animal welfare and ensure that their staff are properly trained and certified, although. Small slaughterhouses will be exempt from this requirement.
Every year, nearly 360 million pigs, sheep, goats and cattle as well as several billion chickens are killed in EU slaughterhouses for their meat. The EC proposal will also apply to the about 25 million animals killed for their fur.
"As a society we have a duty of care towards animals, which includes minimising distress and avoiding pain throughout the slaughtering process," EU health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said.
"The current EU rules are outdated and need revision. This proposal will make a real difference to the way animals are treated at the time of slaughter, as well as promoting innovation and providing a level playing field for operators," she added.
Animal rights groups hailed the commission proposal.
Eurogroup for Animals spokesperson Steven Blaakman told EUobserver: "The commission made no mention of religious slaughter," pointing out that some countries such as France allow exceptions on religious grounds from having to stun an animal before it is killed. "There, a large amount of sheep meat comes from animals killed via religious slaughter," Mr Blaakman said, while Sweden permits no exceptions on religious grounds.
Enforcing the regulations in the new member states may be difficult however. Romania maintains a strong tradition of slaughtering pigs for Christmas in one's own back yard instead of at slaughterhouses.
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