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Shandong takes steps toward humane chicken slaughter

(People's Daily Online)    10:34, August 29, 2016

(File photo)

More humane slaughtering practices are making their way to China, where Shandong province just saw its first standard issued for the humane slaughter of chickens. According to the standard, slaughterhouses must avoid frightening or upsetting the poultry before they are dispatched for slaughter.

Compiled by the College of Food Science and Engineering at Qingdao Agricultural University (QAU), the standard has been approved and issued by the local quality supervision, inspection and quarantine administration. It has clear requirements regarding living conditions and treatment for chickens, such as banning any violence during transportation. For example, chickens are not permitted to be dragged by one wing or leg during transportation, and transportation cannot last more than three hours.

Before a chicken is killed, it must also be outfitted with a soothing pad on its chest to calm it down, and it must be killed only after losing consciousness through gas inhalation or other methods, reported Qilu Evening News.

According to Professor Sun Jingxin from QAU, the humane slaughter of livestock goes beyond animal welfare, though animal rights are a rising topic of discussion in China. Sun said that such measures have also proven effective at improving meat quality, the newspaper added.

Shandong is the biggest chicken breeding provincial region in China, providing some 20 percent of the country's chickens. However, the previous lack of humane slaughtering methods has been an obstacle for Shandong chickens and other agricultural products to be sent overseas, as the birds bear physical signs of their violent deaths even after processing. Many chickens wind up with broken wings and bruises, Sun noted.

As early as 2007, Henan province launched China's first humane slaughter pilot project, requiring that pigs be rendered unconscious with an electric shock before being killed. The Henan project also mandated that live pigs be spared from watching the slaughter of other pigs, news site Guancha reported.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Jiang Jie,Bianji)

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