Stunning does not mean meat without pain

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From: Martin D Stern, Hanover Gardens, Salford.

JENNY Moxham (The Yorkshire Post, May 19) is certainly correct that “electric stunning does not ensure a pain-free death”. It is essentially the same as electro-convulsive therapy, which has been banned unless the patient is first anaesthetised for this very reason. It is a matter of dispute whether stunning renders the animal unconscious or merely paralyses it.

Even in the former case, this would only happen if the stunning were carried out perfectly. Unfortunately, under the conditions prevalent in abattoirs, it fails to work about 20 per cent of the time and has to be repeated. I have personally witnessed several such cases.

In shechitah, the Jewish method of slaughter, the animal’s throat is cut with an extremely sharp knife. Those who have cut themselves with a sheet of paper will know that they only became aware of the cut when they saw the bleeding, not having felt anything at the time. So it is highly unlikely that the animal feels anything at the time of the incision.

Though all forms of animal slaughter are very messy, that does not necessarily mean that the animal suffers pain. Dare I make the suggestion that anyone who has animal welfare at heart, should insist on only eating meat produced by shechitah?