United Poultry Concerns Poultry Slaughter
The Need for Legislation and Elimination of Electrical Immobilization
By Karen Davis, PhD

© We request that you credit United Poultry Concerns as the source of any information you derive from this article to be used in your own work. Thank you.

"Slaughter is different from processing in that the raw material is alive, has a central nervous system, can express emotional states, and has biological components like humans." Dr. Janice Swanson, "Why You Should Care About Animal Welfare," American Meat Institute Foundation's 2002 Annual Animal Handling and Stunning Conference, February 21-22, 2002.

At the poultry slaughter plant each day thousands of birds are crammed inside crates stacked on trucks waiting to be killed. Truckload after truckload pulls into the holding dock where huge fans rotate to reduce the number of birds who will die of heat suffocation while waiting to enter the slaughterhouse. During the winter, an untold number of birds freeze to death in the trucks. Others fall out and freeze to the ground on the docks or along the highway. A forklift picks the topmost pallet of crates off each flatbed truck, and the birds disappear into the darkness.

They come out of the darkness. "Live haul involves hand-catching the birds [some companies now use a mechanical 'harvester'], mostly at night, in a darkened dust-laden atmosphere and trucking them long distances," a USDA manual explains (Brant, et al., 23). Birds intended for meat production are deprived of food and water 8 to 12 hours before catching to save feed costs and to reduce gastrointestinal splatter at the plant (Bilgili 2002). "Spent" laying hens, having no further commercial value, are starved for an average of 4 days before catching, to "provide a modest net return for the cost of hen disposition" (Webster 1996, 5), then ripped from the battery cages to the transport cages, often leaving legs, wings, and heads behind in the cages.

At the slaughterhouse, birds sit in the trucks anywhere from one to nine hours or more waiting to be killed. Inside the plant, men known as "live hangers" grab each bird violently from the crates and jam him or her into a movable metal rack that clamps the birds upside down by their feet.

Slaughter of "Meat-type" Birds

"A broiler is essentially an overgrown baby bird, easily hurt, sometimes treated like bowling balls." Bruce Webster, AMI Stunning Conference, 2002.

Live Hang

In the United States and virtually everywhere else, chickens, turkeys, ducks and other "meat-type" birds are intentionally kept alive through the slaughter process in order to keep their hearts beating. The birds are manually pulled from the crates on the flatbed trucks and hung upside down in the live-hang area of the slaughterhouse, where they may hang from the shackles in a stationary position anywhere from three to six minutes or more depending on how fast the lines up ahead are moving. As Stevenson and many others have observed, suspending these birds (many of whom are already painfully crippled) with their huge heavy breasts upside down by their legs from shackles places an extremely painful strain on their legs and hips (Stevenson, 3.3.1). Adding to this cruelty, Grandin reports "seeing a lot of one-legged shackling" of birds (Grandin 2002).

Electrical Immobilization

The birds' heads and upper bodies are dragged through an electrified water bath trough that is not intended to stun them but to immobilize them: to keep them from desperately flapping and jerking while hanging head down from the conveyer belt, to paralyze the muscles of their feather follicles in order to facilitate feather removal, and to induce certain characteristics in the muscle tissue marketed to consumers. "A quality meat product is the objective" of the electrical current, according to Broiler Industry magazine (Tarver). All of these commercial goals conflict with the "humane" goal of inducing cardiac arrest (a heart attack) with a sufficient current that alone, according to experimental scientists, can insure that most birds will be rendered permanently unconscious upon receiving it. Duncan (1997, 4) has correctly noted that the U.S. poultry industry in particular is "not interested in the humaneness" of the slaughter process.

Neck Cutting

"[B]oth carotid arteries should be severed to ensure a rapid death. . . . In the 'McLibel' case the Judge found--based on Dr. Gregory's evidence--that about 9 birds in every 1,000 missed the [stun] bath and had their necks cut while fully conscious." Peter Stevenson, Animal Welfare Problems in UK Slaughterhouses, 2001, 3.2.4.

After being dragged through the electrified water bath, the paralyzed and semi-paralyzed birds have their necks partially cut by a machine blade and/or a manual neck cutter. (Since 1984 Britain has required a manual backup.) The fastest method of inducing brain death in birds by neck-cutting is severing the two carotid arteries that supply the brain with the fresh, oxygenated blood that maintains consciousness, whereas the jugular veins carry spent blood away from the brain. Failure to cut both carotids can add two minutes to the time taken for brain failure to occur in birds. Worst is the severance of only one jugular vein, which can cause birds to retain consciousness while in severe pain for up to 8 minutes (Gregory [1984] cited in Davis, Prisoned Chickens, 119; Stevenson, 3.2.2).

There is every reason to be concerned about the neck cutting procedures being used in the United States and elsewhere. Various combinations of neck cutting are recommended on the basis of commercial utility, and the variables of the birds themselves (like wet or dry feathers and amount of body fat) and of slaughterhouse conditions are enormous. To these variables, ignorance may be added, as when The Poultry Tribune talks about "hopefully hitting the jugular vein" of birds at slaughter (Watts and Kennett, 7). Moreover, the carotid arteries are deeply embedded in the chicken's neck muscles, and even more deeply embedded in the turkey's, making them hard to reach (Gregory [1984] cited in Davis, Prisoned Chickens, 119).

Bleed Out Tunnel and Scald Tank

There is "strong circumstantial evidence that red-skins have entered the scald tank while conscious." Ian Duncan, Killing Methods for Poultry, 1997.

The birds then hang upside down for 90 seconds in a bleedout tunnel while still alive (Bilgili 1992, 136), with an unspecified number of birds asphyxiating in pools of floor blood if the conveyer belt dips too close to the bleedout floor (confidential source). They are then dropped, dead and alive, into tanks of scalding water. If the birds twist their necks up to avoid the painfully splashing electrified water and thereafter twist their necks up to avoid the cutting machine, they are most likely fully conscious upon entering the scald tank, because they never bled out (Duncan 1997, 2). In Fiscal Year 1993, of 7,085,491,852 total poultry slaughtered in USDA facilities, 3,121,617 birds, known as "red skins" because they are full of blood, officially entered the scald tank alive (Freedom of Information Act #94-363, Poultry Slaughtered, Condemned, and Cadavers, 30 June 1994).

Ruptured Blood Vessels

The cruelty of poultry slaughter has increased in recent years because younger and heavier birds with extremely fragile blood vessels are now being slaughtered for the fast food and rotisserie trade, resulting in a greater susceptibility to hemorrhage under an electrical current and while hanging head down before the current is administered. (Most chickens-about 35 million a day in the U.S.-- are slaughtered at 6 to 7 weeks old and weigh 4 to 5 pounds, which is several times heavier than a normal chicken of that age.) Consequently, poultry companies have reduced the electrical current administered to these baby chickens to even lower levels (Bowers, 18-19).

In addition, poultry slaughter plants in the U.S., U.K, and elsewhere, in order to "decrease downgrades caused by muscle contractions during the stunning process [and] drain more blood from chickens, reducing blood spots and meat discoloration" ("New Stunner Technology"), are adopting high frequency currents that "never, or rarely, kill," and seemingly cause more suffering than ever (Stevenson, 3.3.3).

Gas Stunning

Gas stunning is not commercially employed in the United States. In the U.K., a 2001 amendment to the 1995 Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations permits the voluntary use of nitrogen and other inert gases (particularly argon) mixed with low, preferably no, concentrations of carbon dioxide. This is intended to reduce suffering, including the fact that the birds can be gassed to death in the trucks and thus be spared the cruelty of live shackling. According to an article in Broiler Industry, July 1997, studies of the time taken for most birds to lose brain responsiveness indicate that the first choice of gas should be a mixture composed of 90% argon, 2% oxygen, and 8% nitrogen (Raj 1997).

While conceding the possible welfare benefits of gas stunning under "ideal" conditions, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) cites "serious problems" that could easily arise in commercial slaughter plants. For one thing, gas stunning "does not lead to immediate insensibility to pain," according to Stevenson of CIWF (3.2.7). In commercial slaughter plants, "birds will leave the stunning unit in large numbers and it is hard to believe that they could be shackled quickly enough to allow neck cutting which is sufficiently prompt to prevent birds regaining consciousness from the stun."

According to the European Commission's Scientific Veterinary Committee, "the interval between the end of stunning and neck cutting will be considerably longer than the time interval used under the electrical stunning systems" (cited in Stevenson, 3.2.7). Since, according to the Committee, "a minimum of 2-minute exposure is required to kill chickens with the alternative gas mixtures," a question is whether slaughterhouses will be willing to leave birds in the gas mixture for as long as 2 minutes" (Stevenson, 3.2.7), given their prioritization of speed.

Slaughter, CO2 Gassing, and Live Burial of "Spent" Hens

"Some egg producers got rid of old hens by suffocating them in plastic bags or dumpsters. The more I learned about the egg industry, the more disgusted I got. Some of the practices that had become 'normal' for this industry were overt cruelty. Bad had become normal. Egg producers had become desensitized to suffering." Dr. Temple Grandin, "What Would the Public Think?" National Institute of Animal Agriculture, April 4, 2001.

Between 1990 and 1999, the number of laying hens in the world increased from 3.8 billion to 5 billion (Executive Guide, 36). Spent laying hens are so osteoporotic from lack of exercise and calcium depletion for eggshell formation that most slaughter plants won't take them. Approximately 26 million hens are trucked into Canada from the U.S. each year to be gassed in the trucks on arrival, according to the May 2000 issue of Animal People (Clifton, 8). Other hens travel long distances to spent fowl plants that are few and far between in the U.S. Others are gassed in portable drums, then buried in landfills, or buried without being gassed. According to one industry source estimate, about 8 to 10 hens per 100,000 are buried alive (Ford). Others suggest a much higher number.

Because spent laying hens have no commercial value, according to Canadian Farm Animal Care Trust president Tom Hughes, "They are not even worth enough money to go through the normal process of slaughtering and packing. The simplest method of disposal is to pack the birds, alive, into containers, and bulldoze them into the ground. . . . Another method is to pack the birds into a closed truck and connect the exhaust to the body of the truck" (Clifton, 8).

In an article about the Canadian chicken and egg industry in The Vancouver Courier, the operation of a portable gas unit for spent hens is described as follows: the live birds "are placed in a funnel-like opening, from which they're pushed onto rollers, where the birds are electrocuted, then dropped onto a conveyer belt that loads them-dead-into the back of a truck" (Miller, 3). Dan Weary, a professor in the agricultural sciences department at the University of British Columbia, said that about 1% of hens he watched go through this machine were not killed by the electrocution and ended up in the truck alive. According to SPCA spokesman Brian Nelson, many of the hens who survive the electrocution most likely suffocate under a pile of dead birds (Miller, 3).

"Humane" Slaughter Laws for Poultry

There are no federal welfare laws governing the raising, transport, or slaughter of poultry in the United States. Canada has an unenforceable Recommended Code of Practice, and the U.K. leaves enforcement of its welfare laws to the Meat Hygiene Service and to an unenforceable Ministry of Agriculture Code of Practice. As for the EU, a 1997 draft proposal by the European Commission that was to strengthen an EU Directive to set legally binding stunning standards for birds and mammals, "seems to have disappeared" (Stevenson, 2.2; 6.0).

"Humane" Poultry Slaughter Bills Introduced in the U.S. in the 1990s

"[T]he U.S. industry were not interested in the humaneness of the kill." Ian J.H. Duncan, Killing Methods for Poultry, 1997, 4.

In the United States, Representative Andrew Jacobs, Jr. of Indiana introduced three Humane Methods of Poultry Slaughter Act bills in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s: H.R. 4124 (1992); H.R. 649 (1993); and H.R. 264 (1995). These bills sought to amend the 1957 Poultry Products Inspection Act to provide for the "humane" slaughter of poultry, similar to how the 1906 Meat Inspection Act was used as a basis for the coverage of "cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines" under the 1958 Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. However, all of these bills died in the House Agricultural Livestock Subcommittee to which they were referred.

On September 28, 1994, Harold L. Volkmer (MO), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock at the time, held a hearing on H.R. 649. United Poultry Concerns, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the Animal Welfare Institute presented oral and written testimony on behalf of H.R. 649 at the hearing, during which Rep. Volkmer joked about killing chickens while growing up on a farm and stated his opposition to the bill at the beginning of the hearing.

Argument for "Humane" Poultry Slaughter Legislation

The effort to extend humane slaughter coverage to birds should not be regarded as a sanction for slaughter. Rather, the absence of a law conveys the false notion to the general public, and to those who work directly with poultry, that these birds do not suffer, or that their suffering does not matter, and that humans have no moral obligation to them even to the nominal extent granted to cattle, sheep, and pigs. It means that the majority of warm-blooded vertebrate nonhuman animals being slaughtered for human consumption in North America are denied the most basic welfare coverage, and that neither the government nor the poultry industries in the U.S. and Canada have any legally-mandated moral accountability regarding the billions of birds they kill.

Birds Suffer the Same as Humans and Other Mammals

"The general public, and many chicken farmers, remain unaware of poultry sensitivity and behavioral complexity. Their diminished evaluation of chickens as sentient animals results in inadequate assessment of the welfare needs of this animal." Dr. Andrew Fraser, "Poultry Welfare Problems" Canadian Farm Animal Care Trust Symposium, 1990.

"All poultry species are sentient vertebrates and all the available evidence shows that they have a very similar range of feelings as have the mammalian species." Dr. Ian Duncan, "To whom it may concern" (Letter) September 22, 1994.

"With increased knowledge of the behaviour and cognitive abilities of the chicken has come the realization that the chicken is not an inferior species to be treated merely as a food source." Dr. Lesley J. Rogers, The Development of Brain and Behaviour in the Chicken, 1995, p. 213.

"[I]t is now clear that birds have cognitive capacities equivalent to those of mammals, even primates." Rogers, Ibid, p. 215.

Birds experience pain and suffering the same as humans and other mammals; they have the same nociceptors-pain receptors-as do humans. They have the same capacity for fear, misery, and terror. They possess conscious awareness of their surroundings and their experience. In "Pain in Birds," Dr. Michael Gentle writes: "Comparing pain in birds with mammals, it is clear that, with regard to anatomical, physiological, and behavioural parameters measured, there are no major differences and therefore the ethical considerations normally afforded to mammals should be extended to birds "(Gentle, 235).

Future Prospects

Federal Legislation in the U.S.

Though no truly humane system of slaughter can be devised, the current situation in the United States could be improved by redefining "livestock" in the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (1958) to include poultry, or by amending the 1957 Poultry Products Inspection Act to include a humane slaughter provision for poultry.

State Anti-Cruelty Laws in the U.S.

In some states, the worst poultry slaughter abuses might be prosecuted under state anti-cruelty laws, a prospect that should be investigated. States that already have humane slaughter laws should adopt amendments specifically to include poultry, as was done in California in 1991. (State laws regulate products sold within the state as opposed to interstate commerce, which is regulated by the federal government.)

Eliminate/Prohibit Electrical "Stunning"

The term "stun" is a misnomer as applied to the standard poultry slaughterhouse practice of shooting a live current through the birds by means of an electrified knife, plate, or electrified saltwater. Electrified saltwater is the method used by the commercial poultry industry in the United States, Canada, and Europe for "meat-type" birds. After the birds have been manually jammed into the movable metal rack that clamps them upside down by their feet, their heads and necks are dragged through a 12-foot-long trough filled with filthy water that shoots painful volts of electricity through them for approximately 7 seconds (Bilgili [1992] cited in Davis, Prisoned Chickens, 115).

Pre-Stun Shocks

In addition to the inherent cruelty of electrified water bath immersion, many birds experience pre-sun shocks as the electrified water splashing out of the stunner hits them prior to immersion. Because their long wings hang lower than their heads, turkeys and geese are especially vulnerable to pre-stun shocks through their wings (Stevenson 3.3.2), but all birds are vulnerable to this painfully splashing water and to the electrically alive ramp at the stunner entrance (Davis, Prisoned Chickens, 115-116; Stevenson, 3.2.3; 3.3.2).

Because the purposes of the "stunner" are immobilization. feather release, and meat characteristics-not humane slaughter, and because the currents deemed by experimental scientists to be the least inhumane (a minimum of 120 mA for each chicken and more than 250 mA for each turkey and duck) rupture the birds' fragile blood vessels, the birds are intentionally administered only 12.5 mA - 25mA, and are thus tortured. (Gregory and Wilkins; Davis, 167, note 64; Duncan 1997: 4-5; Raj 1998: 3, 5; Webster 2002).

In this condition of suffering, the birds approach the neck cutter and move from there into the bleedout tunnel, all the while hanging upside down from the conveyer belt. Humans receiving somewhat similar low-amperage electroconvulsive treatments have reported experiencing "thunderbolts in their heads" (Grandin 2002).

Gas Stunning

"It is logical to suggest that the stress associated with the electrical stunning of poultry should not be replaced with the stress of induction of anesthesia with an atmosphere containing a high concentration of carbon dioxide." A.B.M. Raj, "European Perspective on Poultry Stunning," Broiler Industry, July 1997.

"[I]n order to prevent birds regaining consciousness, it is essential that they are killed (rather than stunned) by the gas mixture." Peter Stevenson, Animal Welfare Problems in UK Slaughterhouses, July 2001.

Research conducted in the United Kingdom has shown that given a choice, most chickens, turkeys, and pigs avoid an atmosphere containing a high concentration of carbon dioxide. By contrast, most chickens, turkeys, and pigs reportedly show no aversion to the presence of 90% argon or 30% carbon dioxide in a feeding chamber. Argon is heavier than air and thus fairly easy to contain (Raj 1997).

Based on the evidence, the U.K. approved, in 1995, two gas mixtures with a proportionally high percentage of argon (60% and 90%). In 2001, as noted, the British government amended the U.K.'s Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (WASK), permitting higher concentrations of inert gases (argon and/or nitrogen), and consequently lower concentrations of carbon dioxide to be used on a voluntary basis in the gas stunning of poultry.

From a welfare standpoint, behavioral and electrophysiological investigations into the time to loss of brain responsiveness in chickens and turkeys have indicated that the first choice of gas should be 90% argon in air, leaving 2% oxygen and 8% nitrogen from air, and the second choice should be a mixture of 30% carbon dioxide and 60% argon in air, leaving 2% oxygen and 8% nitrogen from air. At this level of carbon dioxide, and absolutely no higher, the aversive effect is said to be low (Raj 1997).

But . . .
Notwithstanding, it is crucial that residual oxygen be maintained at less than 2% to ensure rapid brain function loss, as researchers have found that air trapped between birds or crates or in the feathers of birds can raise the residual oxygen to levels that prevent loss of consciousness (Duncan 1997, 7).

It is also crucial that the birds be killed, not merely stunned, by the gas, according to Stevenson, who cites the EU Scientific Veterinary Committee (SVC) Report, which states that if birds are only stunned rather than killed with gas mixtures, they regain consciousness "very rapidly" (Stevenson, 3.2.7).

According to Compassion in World Farming:

  • If gas is used, the industry should adopt the gas mixture that causes less distress, i.e. 90% argon.

  • Because gas-stunned birds regain consciousness rapidly, they must be killed, rather than stunned, by the gas.

  • The use of 30% oxygen and 40% carbon dioxide is completely unacceptable because this mixture prolongs the time taken for birds to reach unconsciousness (Stevenson, Conclusions).

Proponents of the gas stun/kill method propose that the relative cheapness of nitrogen (which is the main component of air, has the same density as air, and is thus as difficult to contain as air) should encourage poultry producers to adopt gas killing systems that could improve welfare standards, including the fact that the birds can be killed in the transport crates before being shackled, and thus be spared the pain and stress of live shackling and the cruelty that follows: neck cutting, bleed out, and, for many millions of birds each year, the scald tank (Duncan 1997: 5-10).


In 1997, Dr. Ian Duncan, Professor of Poultry Ethology and Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, visited the first commercial gas stunning installation in Europe at Eye, Suffolk in eastern England The slaughter plant he visited is owned by Grampian Poultry, the largest poultry slaughter company in the U.K. His observation, of birds (in drawers holding 20-24 birds each) entering a tunnel containing a mixture of 30% carbon dioxide and 60% argon in air with a residual mixture of 8% nitrogen and 2% oxygen, convinced him that this is "the most stress-free, humane-method of killing poultry ever developed. The birds are quiet through the operation. They remain in the transport crate until dead and the killing procedure itself is fast, painless and efficient. There is no risk of recovery from unconsciousness" (Duncan, 1997: 8-10).


Approximate Numbers of Birds Being Slaughtered Annually.

USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
Executive Guide to World Poultry Trends, WATT Publishing Company

United States (2002)

United States: 8.8 billion birds: 8.2+ billion "broiler" chickens. 165+ "spent" commercial laying hens and breeding fowl. 268+ million turkeys. 25 million ducks. 14 million pounds of "miscellaneous birds: ostriches, emus, geese, pigeons, quails, pheasants.

(In the United States, 9 billion birds are officially recorded in the slaughter statistics compared to 140 million mammals: cattle, calves, pigs, and sheep. This means that birds, preponderantly chickens, represent 98-99 percent of animals being slaughtered in USDA -inspected plants.)

Worldwide (1999)

Africa: 2358 million chickens.

Asia: 13367 million chickens.

Canada: 562 million chickens.

European Union: 6790 million chickens.

North-Central America: 10788 million chickens.

Oceana: 464 million chickens.

South America: 5330 million chickens.

United Kingdom: 786 million chickens.

United States: 8600 million chickens.

World: 40,000 million chickens. 644 million turkeys. 1784 million ducks.


Akin, Jim. The Serious Welfare Problems of Electrical Stunning for Poultry and the Case for Gas Killing as a Means for More Humane Slaughter (Report), 2001. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Call 757-622-7382, ext. 1492, or email CemA@Peta.org.

American Meat Institute Foundation. Annual Animal Handling and Stunning Conference, February 21-22, 2002.

Bilgili, S(arge). F. "Electrical Stunning of Broilers-Basic Concepts and Carcass Quality Implications: A Review." The Journal of Applied Poultry Research 1.1 (March 1992): 135-146.

Bilgili, S. F. "The Relationship Between Animal Handling and Quality." AMI Stunning Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2002.

Bowers, Pamela. "A Diagnostic Dilemma." Poultry Marketing & Technology Aug./Sept. 1993: 18-19.

Brant, A.W., et al. Guidelines for Establishing and Operating Broiler Processing Plants. Agricultural Handbook 581. USDA-Agricultural Research Service. May 1982, 23.

California Food and Agriculture Code. CA Assembly Bill 1000, Chapter 837, 1991, amended Section 19501 of the Code by adding Section 19501.5 to require humane slaughter of poultry and to adopt regulations to implement its provisions. AB 1000, originally designed to include all poultry, was subsequently amended to "include poultry, except spent hens and small game birds." The Humane Slaughter of Poultry Regulations, Title 3 CA Code of Regulations, Article 15.1, Sec. 1245.1-1245.16, went into effect (whatever that means) Dec. 14, 1996.

Clifton, Merritt. "Starving the hens is 'standard.'" Animal People: News for People Who Care About Animals 1.4 (May 2000): 1, 8.

Davis, Karen. Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Livestock on Behalf of H.R. 649, the Humane Methods of Poultry Slaughter Act of 1993. September 28, 1994.

Davis, Karen. Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (Summertown, TN: Book Publishing Company, 1996). This book provides a fully documented, detailed discussion of poultry slaughter in Chapter 5, "The Death."

Davis, Karen. More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality (NY: Lantern Books, 2001). This book provides a documented, detailed discussion of pre-World War Two methods of slaughtering poultry in Chapter 4, "Our Token of Festive Joy." See esp. pp. 63-66, 71.

Duncan, Ian J.H. Killing Methods for Poultry: A report on the use of gas in the U.K. to render birds unconscious prior to slaughter. The Colonel K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, University of Guelph, Ontario, 1997.

Executive Guide to World Poultry Trends: A Statistical Reference for Poultry Executives. WATT Publishing Company, 2000. www.wattnet.com.

Ford, Tim (President, Florida Organics). Personal communication to the author, May 7, 2002.

Fraser, Andrew. "Poultry Welfare Problems." Food for the Future, a symposium organized by the Canadian Farm Animal Care Trust, 1990.

Gentle, Michael. "Pain in Birds." 1992. Animal Welfare. 1: 235-247.

Grandin, Temple. "What Would the Public Think?" Paper Presented at the National Institute of Animal Agriculture, April 4, 2001. www.grandin.com/welfare/corporation.agents.html

Grandin. Temple. AMI Stunning Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2002.

Gregory, N.G. A Practical Guide to Neck Cutting in Poultry. Meat Research Memorandum No. 54. Agricultural and Food Research Council (U.K.) Aug. 1984.

Gregory, N.G., and S.B. Wotton. "Effect of Stunning on Spontaneous Physical Activity and Evoked Activity in the Brain." 1990. British Poultry Science 31: 215-220.

Gregory, N.G., and L.J. Wilkins. "Effect of Stunning Current on Downgrading in Ducks." 1990. British Poultry Science 31: 429-431.

Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, Title 7 U.S, Code, Sections 1901-1906. Detailed Regulations and Enforcement: Title 9 CFR, Part 313, Sections 313.1-313.90.

Miller, Chris. "Cooped Up." The Vancouver Courier, July 27, 2001: 1,3,17.

"New Stunner Technology Decreases Poultry Downgrades." Meat and Poultry Online. Feb. 12, 2001.

Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 21 U.S. Code. On Nov. 21, 1995, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, and the Animal Welfare Institute petitioned the USDA to use its statutory authority to extend humane slaughter protection to poultry through an amendment of the poultry products inspection regulations issued under the PPIA, 21 U.S. Code, Sec. 451, et seq., but the petition failed.

Raj, Mohan. "European Perspective on Poultry Stunning." Broiler Industry, July 1997.

Raj, Mohan. "Poultry Welfare Concerns Associated with Electrical Waterbath Stunning Systems." Can-Ag-Fax. Newsletter of the Canadian Farm Animal Care Trust (CanFACT) 5.1 (Spring/Summer 1998): 3, 5.

Rogers, Lesley J. The Development of Brain and Behaviour in the Chicken. (Wallingford, Oxon, UK: Cab International, 1995).

Stevenson, Peter. Animal Welfare Problems in UK Slaughterhouses. A Report by Compassion in World Farming Trust, June 2000; 2001. Call +44 (0) 1730 268070, or email compassion@ciwf.co.uk.

Swanson, Janice. AMI Stunning Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2002.

Tarver, Fred, Jr. "Broiler Meat Quality Following Bird Restraint and Stunning." Broiler Industry, Aug. 1999: 40.

USDA-NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service. www.usda.gov/nass.

Watts, George, and Connor Kennett. "The broiler industry." The Poultry Tribune. Sept. 1995: 6-18.

Webster, Bruce, et al. Update on Hen Disposition. Paper presented at the International Poultry Exposition Egg Program (sponsored by the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association in Atlanta, GA), Jan. 25, 1996.

Webster, Bruce. AMI Stunning Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2002.

© United Poultry Concerns, Inc.

Karen Davis, PhD, is the founder and President of United Poultry Concerns, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information contact:

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Poultry Slaughter - The Need for Legislation and Elimination of Electrical Immobilization)

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