The Government recently announced that it intends to reject a recommendation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council that all animals should be stunned before slaughter (see VR, April 10, p 446). In this Viewpoint article, Dr Stuart Rosen discusses physiological aspects of Shechita, the Jewish method of religious animal slaughter. He outlines the religious context and describes the act of Shechita. He discusses the scientific literature on the behavioural responses to Shechita as well as neurophysiological studies relevant to the assessment of pain, and concludes that Shechita is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter.
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