Meat is one of the most popular, delicious and nutritious foods human beings consume and it is obtained by cattle slaughter. A hygienic slaughter procedure is essential for good meat. Slaughterhouse process differs with different species and locations all over the world. Different religions advocate special methods for cattle slaughter. Overall, slaughterhouse should be clean and hygienically maintained as they have impacts on environment and public health.
The Total Process Of Cattle Slaughter In A Nutshell
The cattle is brought by rail or trucks and then kept in the holding pens. After a pre slaughter inspection they are stunned (by various methods like breaking the neck, electric shock and more). Then the animal is hung on its hind and a main artery is cut .The blood is drained and the animal dies. The skin and plumage is removed. Then a government official grades the carcass as per quality and safety measures. This is cut into separate parts and chilled for protection from bacteria and deterioration. The left over is examined for residual meat, termed as mechanically recovered meat, which can be consumed, by animals and humans. The waste generated is treated in a waste plant and the meat is ready for distribution in local shops.
Most countries have laws that iterate that animals should be stunned before killing. A regulating body deals with public health, safety of workers and keeps the sanitation standard at per the law.
Different species require diverse methods of killing. Below the slaughter procedure of pig is given as an example.
Pigs travel by compartmentalized trucks with each compartments holding 12-15 pigs. Upon arrival they are unpacked and are driven on large pens having same capacity as the truck compartments. The pigs rest for 24 hours to get relief from fatigue. They are then weighed to calculate accurate yield and fed a lot of water to swill out intestinal Pathogenic bacteria.
Pigs are stunned by high frequency electric (50Hz) and low voltage current through two electrodes which makes the brain epileptic and renders the pig unconscious during the time. CO2 method is also adopted where the pig passes through a well with CO2 and air atmosphere. The pig becomes unconscious inhaling the CO2, which acidifies its cerebrospinal fluid. Legally a minimum of 70% concentration is required but 90% is recommended. The carbon dioxide method does away with the blood spilling and human involvement of electrical method. When unconscious the pigs are hung on the processing line.
The carotid and the jugular artery are cut to drain off the blood. The muscles are relaxed before de-hairing. Pigs are not generally de-haired after exsanguinations. The carcass is dropped into a steaming water to loosen the pelt for removal. The carcass is then de-haired by a de-hairing machine. Then the carcass is scraped and the remaining hair is seared. Finally the head is severed, inedible is removed and the meat is stamped after inspection. The meat is washed, cut and de-boned. The delicious pork or bacon is ready for you.
Thus a hygienic cattle slaughter procedure is essential to get nutritious meat and to nourish your body.