CAS not a humane method of poultry slaughter
Based on input from animal-science veterinary and
ethics professionals, American Humane Certified says that research is not yet
conclusive or complete to support Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) as the
preferred method of poultry slaughter.
â€œThere is no distress as severe as the feeling of not being able to
breathe. This feeling of suffocation is not only a result of lack of oxygen, but
also the inability to blow off carbon dioxide. CO2 drives respiration. Even
though CAS creates unconsciousness, there must be a period when the animal feels
a sense of suffocation. For this reason, I do not accept CAS as a humane method
of euthanasia,â€ says Bernard Rollin, Ph.D., professor in the departments of
animal services and philosophy at Colorado State University and a member of the
American Humane Certified Scientific Advisory Committee.
The American Humane Association created the first and original humane
certification label program. Tim Amlaw, program manager of American Humane
Certified, said, â€œWe believe that humane slaughter of food animals must be
performed using the best available science and in a manner that causes minimal
or no distress to the animals. Based on our scientific experts and existing
evidence, we are not aware of any science-based conclusive evidence that the
distress chickens, turkeys or other species experience in existing electric
stunning methods is greater, or less than that with gas anesthesia induction.
Any claim that CAS is more humane is simply not founded on current science and
should not be forced on the industry, at this time.â€
â€œEach current method of poultry stunning has issues that may be resolved in
the interim, through close audit and further research and development. Neither
animal processing facilities nor retail food operations should be forced to
implement costly new technologies that do not generate clear improvements in
animal welfare. To do so would not support a sustainable food chain,â€ says John
McGlone, Ph.D., professor of animal and food sciences, and director of animal
care services at Texas Tech University, and Scientific Advisory Fellow of the
American Humane Certified program.
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