It is important not to cause any avoidable pain, distress or suffering to any bird. It is a good idea to practise slaughter techniques on a dead bird or an inanimate object to help you gain confidence and proficiency. A lack of skill can lead to incidents of extreme, if unintentional, cruelty.

hensIt is also important to plan ahead to ensure that you always abide by the law. Take time to ascertain your lega
l obligations before slaughtering any birds. Legislation is in place in many countries to protect the welfare of the birds and you should also be aware of legislation regarding meat hygiene and public health.

You must be sure you have the knowledge and skills necessary to stun and slaughter each bird humanely. If you have any doubts about your ability, you must not attempt to slaughter even a single bird. It may be necessary for you to consider Other Options for the slaughter of your birds.

A short training course (as are available in some parts of the world) or time spent working under the supervision of an experienced slaughterman, or veterinary surgeon, may be appropriate to help prevent mistakes and give you the confidence to cope if things do not go according to plan. The HSA runs such Courses in the UK.

A WATOK licence is required by a person who restrains animals for the purpose of stunning or killing; shackles or hoists live animals; undertakes stunning or bleeding; uses electrical stunning, gas stunning or mechanical stunning methods as a slaughter or killing method (this includes neck dislocation when it is used as back-up to the primary stunning method); or assesses effective stunning in the UK. For information on how to obtain a UK slaughter licence contact your local Animal, Plant and Health Agency (APHA) office.

Remember: Do not start a task that you cannot complete. Make sure you are prepared.

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