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Shackling of poultry: is it a welfare problem?

  • J.M. Sparrey (a1) and P.J. Kettlewell (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2007

The slaughter of poultry differs from the slaughter of all other meat-producing animals in that the live birds are hung upside down in shackles prior to slaughter. There is concern from animal welfare organizations such as the United Kingdom Farm Animal Welfare Council that this practice, although necessary for present methods of humane slaughter, causes possible distress and pain to the birds. This paper reviews the regulations on the provision for the welfare of poultry at slaughter as it affects shackling, the equipment involved in shackling, and the physiological and psychological effect of shackling on birds.

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M.J. Gentle and L.N. Hunter (1990) Physiological and behavioural responses associated with feather removal in Gallus gallus var domesticus. Research in Veterinary Science 50: 95101

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N.G. Gregory and L.J. Wilkins (1990) Broken bones in chickens: effects of stunning and processing in broilers. British Poultry Science 31: 5358

N.G. Gregory , S.D. Austin and L.J. Wilkins (1989) Relationship between wing flapping at shackling and red wingtips in chicken carcases. Veterinary Record 124: 62

J.A. Holloway , C.O. Trouth , L.E. Weight and G.F. Keyser (1980) Cutaneous receptive field characteristics of primary afferents and dorsal horn cells in the avian (Gallus domesticus). Experimental Neurology 68: 477488

P.J. Kettlewell and R. N. Hallworth (1990) Electrical stunning of chickens. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research 47: 139151

S.C. Kestin , T.G. Knowles , A.E. Tinch and N.G. Gregory (1992) Prevalence of leg weakness in broiler chickens and its relationship with genotype. Veterinary Record 131: 190194

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World's Poultry Science Journal
  • ISSN: 0043-9339
  • EISSN: 1743-4777
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