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Chicken slaughter: Killing them softly

21 September 2006

US - Only five percent of the animals slaughtered in the United States are currently protected by humane slaughtering regulations, leaving the eight billion birds slaughtered yearly unprotected.

The USDA has decided not to extend legal protections to poultry – a category that includes chickens, turkeys, water fowl, game birds and even rabbits – even though they constitute 95 percent of the animals consumed.

If a lawsuit filed by several animal rights organizations succeeds in court, the nation’s poultry may gain the humane slaughtering protections arguably extended to them nearly 50 years ago.

As the litigation continues at the federal level, some local producers are taking it upon themselves to see to the humane treatment of their flocks.

Marin County isn’t home to a large-scale poultry industry. About 10 farms raise poultry for eggs; only a few of those raise poultry for meat.

For all the life on Marin’s hillsides and in its bays, there’s a remarkable absence of death. For most of the area’s livestock, the life cycle begins here but ends elsewhere, as there’s no processing plant – not for poultry, bovine or sheep – in the county’s limits. That means local producers must either ship their animals to the nearest facilities in Sonoma County, or slaughter them on their own land by their own hands.

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Source: Point Eyes Right

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