Introduction

cockerelThis online guide is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the humane slaughter of poultry for the smallholder and small-scale producer. Everyone involved in poultry keeping will have to deal with the slaughter of their birds at some time. This may be the emergency killing of sick or injured birds or the slaughter of birds for consumption.

Whether you are an experienced stockman, or someone keeping a few poultry for eggs or for the table, you must have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete the task quickly, confidently and without causing the bird any avoidable pain, distress or suffering.

Slaughter may never be pleasant but it can, and must, be humane. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully prepared in order to protect the welfare of each individual bird.

Important Points About This Website And Its Use

The Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) is the only registered charity that works in the UK and internationally, through educational, scientific and technical advcances, exclusively towards the highest worldwide standards of welfare for food animals during transport, marketing, slaughter, and killing for disease control and welfare reasons.

** The HSA presented a free-of-charge talk on small-scale, humane slaughter of poultry, at the virtual 2020 Scottish Smallholder Festival.  To watch the talk for free, please visit: https://2020.ssgf.uk/talks/ **  Although the talk was intended for the Scottish Smallholder Festival audience, the information presented on the relevant legislation is also applicable throughout the constituent countries of the UK.  (For smallholders who also keep pigs or sheep and may wish to slaughter their animals themselves, this talk also very briefly features legislative information on on-farm/home slaughter of mammals for private/personal domestic consumption.)

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