Coup de Grâce: Humane Slaughter in Nineteenth Century Britain
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Calls for humane cattle slaughter in Britain emerged as part of a broader urban-based animal welfare and slaughterhouse reform movement in the nineteenth century. Humanitarian groups advocated the humane slaughter principle: that no animal should be slaughtered without first being stunned into insensibility. Traditional techniques based on the pole-axe, nape-stab, and Jewish ritual slaughter were too unreliable or too slow to ensure insensibility prior to exsanguination. New stunning technologies including slaughter masks and captive bolt pistols were developed and tested through the nineteenth century but were successfully opposed by the butchers' trade organization. Thus the humane slaughter principle did not receive legislative sanction until the 1930s.
Slaughtering and slaughter-houses -- England , Animal welfare
MacLachlan, I. (2006). Coup de Grâce: Humane Slaughter in Nineteenth Century Britain. Food & History, 3(2), 145-171.