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Abattoir killings are often inhumane.

Sir, - Viva!'s investigation into slaughterhouse standards is based on video evidence as well as a thorough review of recent scientific research (Post, Sept 5).

Peter Soul says that animals are properly stunned before being killed, but we saw sheep and pigs regaining consciousness while bleeding to death. This is not surprising - an electric stun only causes unconsciousness for around 30 seconds and in some abattoirs, the time between stunning and killing is longer than this.

As part of our investigation, we obtained a testimony from an abattoir vet. She said: 'The slaughtermen are in such a hurry that they often don't put the electric tongs in the correct position on the pigs' heads. The pigs only get half or insufficiently stunned, wake up while they bleed and are obviously still alive and conscious when they plunge into the boiling water. Sheep are stunned just as badly.'

It is true that slaughtermen have to be licensed, but it is common for abattoirs to have no staff who have received formal training. Additionally, many workers are paid according to the number of animals killed so stopping the line for welfare problems means less money.

Many people eat meat because they have a cosy idea that animals are 'humanely' killed. Viva! has proved that serious problems exist in UK slaughterhouses and that animals are suffering as a result.

Readers who would like more information on Viva!'s campaign can contact us at 12 Queen Square, Brighton, BN1 3FD; tel: 01273 777688.

REBECCA SMITH

Viva! Campaigner.
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Title Annotation:Letter
Author:Smith, Rebecca
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 9, 2000
Words:253
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