PETA urges Smithfield to adopt gas stunning for turkey slaughter

PETA, which owns 120 shares of Smithfield Foods, has submitted a shareholder resolution encouraging the company to adopt controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK) method of poultry slaughter.

Smithfield, which is the largest processor of turkeys in the US, operating in 29 states and nine countries, currently kills turkeys by electrical stunning (placing them upside-down by their legs in metal shackles with their heads run through an electrified bath).
With CAK, the oxygen that turkeys breathe is slowly replaced with inert, nonpoisonous gasses, putting the birds "to sleep". PETA states that studies of CAK conclude that in addition to being the least cruel form of poultry slaughter, it also results in economic benefits.
PETA reports that fast-food giants Burger King, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and Wendy's, as well as grocery chain Safeway, are now giving purchasing preference or consideration to suppliers that use CAK.
As part of its campaign to move the food industry toward implementing CAK, PETA has become a shareholder in more than 40 companies, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Wal-Mart, Supervalu, Tyson Foods, and Yum! Brands (KFC's parent company).
"Controlled-atmosphere killing will not only save birds from some abuses but also help workers and help Smithfield save money," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "Consumers care about animal welfare, so it's in Smithfield's best interests to phase in CAK as quickly as possible."
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