'It is a popular myth that Shechita is a painful method of slaughter. In fact, there is ample scientific evidence to the contrary. The Shechita process requires the rapid uninterrupted severance of major vital organs and vessels which produces, inter alia, instant drop in blood pressure in the brain which results in the immediate and irreversible cessation of consciousness and sensibility to pain. Shechita incorporates an effective and irreversible stun, and it is both humane and efficient - producing a painless and effective stun and instant insensibility – followed without delay by immediate death.'
Shechita is not a painful method of slaughter, claims Jewish community
Jewish Shechita method of slaughter can be more human than stunning animals, claims Henry Grunwald OBE QC, Chairman of Shechita UK.
The Jewish Community is fully supportive of providing consumers with information about the origins of their food and we have urged MEPs that if they want to label meat and meat products, labels must include those stunned before slaughter by electrocution, shooting, gassing or clubbing as well as the many millions of animals that are mis-stunned during the stunning process. However, to single out one method is suspicious, troubling and discriminatory.
It is a popular myth that Shechita is a painful method of slaughter. In fact, there is ample scientific evidence to the contrary.
The Shechita process requires the rapid uninterrupted severance of major vital organs and vessels which produces, inter alia, instant drop in blood pressure in the brain.
This abrupt loss of pressure results in the immediate and irreversible cessation of consciousness and sensibility to pain, and since shechita incorporates an effective and irreversible stun, it is both humane and efficient - producing a painless and effective stun and instant insensibility – followed without delay by immediate death.
Furthermore, Shechita accounts for only 0.03 per cent of all animals slaughtered each year for food in the UK.
The real concern for animal welfare activists should be the far greater numbers of animals mis-stunned by captive-bolt or electro-narcosis every year.
Both DEFRA and Compassion for World Farming recognise the huge number of animals that are mis-stunned every year by captive bolt, electrocution and worse.
Those with a genuine concern for animal welfare would do well to turn their attention to that problem, rather than propagate ill-informed myths about religious slaughter.
Grunwald is not telling the truth.
Perfectly done standing shechita in an ASPCA pen will render an animal insensate in 15 seconds. Most schochtim, ritual slaughterers, working under the best condition, render an animal insensate in about 30 seconds.
By contrast, the best stunning renders an animal insensate in 1 to 3 seconds.
Mis-stunning, which is very rare using modern stun guns, is rectified by either re-stunning or shooting the animal, and is often accomplished in a matter of seconds after the mis-stun – meaning the animal is insensate before or at about the same time the average shechita-killed animal is rendered insensate.
You can see the process for smaller animals in this Compassion for World Farming video. CFWF is cited by Grunwald above. But Grunwald misrepresents CFWF's position, as you can see if you watch this video. By far, the most mis-stuns are done on pigs. The process for stunning pigs is different from the process used on cattle. Steers and cows are generally stunned by captive bolt because of their size. The video does not show any steer or cow slaughter, but it does show veal slaughter – which is done by a different method. Even so, the one mis-stun is corrected in a mtter of seconds, and the animal does not appear to be in any pain.
The CFWF video also shows a rotating pen similar to the one used at Agriprocessors and CFWF strongly condemns its use while noting it is used for ritual slaughter.
That pen has many problems. One of those problems is that its design tends to cause schochtim to make cuts that are too shallow, and that causes animals to remain conscious – sometimes for more than three minutes.
The 'scientific' material Grunwald deceptively mentions largely comes from the early 1900s and was for the most part commissioned by Orthodox Jews. It has long since been shown to be inaccurate. This 'scientific' material is some of the same 'scientific' material Nathan Lewin used to claim Agriprocessors slaughter was humane. No large animal biologist, veterinarian, government expert or animal welfare expert agreed with him.
Britain's Orthodox Jews could learn a lesson from that.
Unfortunately, they have not done so.