Research into controlled atmosphere stunning inconclusive

11-10-2006 | |

Tyson Foods has concluded a two-year study into the use of Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) as an alternative method for slaughtering chickens, but did not find it to be more humane than conventional slaughter methods.

Tyson will be asking the University of Arkansas to conduct further research into CAS.
The CAS method involves the use of a gas mixture to render chickens unconscious before slaughter.
“While our research has concluded controlled atmosphere stunning may be an acceptable alternative, we have not currently found it to be more humane than conventional electrical stunning,” said Bill Lovette, senior group vice president of Poultry and Prepared Foods for Tyson Foods.
“We’re going to continue to use the conventional method of stunning in our poultry plants because we believe it’s humane and effective. However, we also believe there’s merit in the continued study of CAS and other technology. We’re going to ask the agricultural science officials at the University of Arkansas to initiate their own CAS study, using their own scientists and methods, to see if they reach the same conclusion.”
“We believe the university is better positioned to conduct the research and convert the scientific results into a form that can be independently evaluated,” Lovette said.
In July, ConAgra Foods, one of the largest packaged-foods companies in the US, wrote to its poultry suppliers urging them to consider slaughtering chickens by using the CAS method.