What’s the issue?
Animals raised for meat can experience cruelty from the time they are born on the farm until the time they are slaughtered.
At times, companies that produce, process and slaughter for meat do not have the welfare of animals as a priority.
The call is not to stop the meat industry in its entirety, but to improve the training of staff, provide better living conditions for animals and to reduce pain and suffering when possible.
Poor living and slaughtering conditions
A review by the New South Wales Food Authority in 2012 uncovered animal welfare breaches at all ten local slaughter houses within the state. These breaches included incompetency of slaughtering staff, ineffective stunning which results in consciousness during slaughter and poor conditions for animals delivered beyond business hours.1
It’s also bad for workers at slaughterhouses, as the reality of the job takes a mental toll.
Abuse from staff
On March 21, 2013, an investigation was conducted by animal rights lobbying group Animal Liberation on an Ingham’s slaughterhouse in NSW, who caught footage of workers kicking, punching and stomping on turkeys.*
How does it happen?
There are constant breaches of animal welfare in each state and territory which go unnoticed because the industries are self -regulated and have a conflict of interest in producing and slaughtering for meat using cost-efficient processes versus maintaining the highest level of welfare for the animals involved.
Also, low transparency for consumers means it’s difficult to determine which meat processing facility the meat you buy from the supermarket has come from.2 This means consumers are disassociated from the supply chain without information on who produced the meat and the history of the abattoir.
How can we solve it?
Awareness and conversation: be aware of the practices and processes animals may be subjected to, discuss with your friends and family personal viewpoints about how animals are treated and whether it’s permissible.
Petition for change: sign up to petitions you believe in that will promote better treatment of animals, increase transparency and accountability in the meat industry.
Embrace plant-based cooking: you can substitute meat or milk from animals with alternatives now and again. You don’t have to adopt a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, simply reducing your meat intake is a good step towards promoting animal welfare.
*As on March 15, 2018, the Good Super Animal Welfare investment option does not invest in Inghams.
- Animals Australia, NSW Abbatoirs
- Choice Australia