The Humane Society of the United States

Cruel Slaughter Practices

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Imagine being hung upside down, shocked into paralysis, having your throat cut, then drowned in hot water...while you’re conscious. That’s the stuff of nightmares, and it’s the tragic reality for billions of birds each year. These animals have virtually no protection from the worst slaughter abuses.

Billions Killed Out of Sight

Nearly all animals killed for food in the U.S. are chickens and turkeys—more than nine billion each year. They're shackled upside down, paralyzed by electrified water and dragged over mechanical throat-cutting blades ... all while conscious. Millions of birds each year miss the blades and drown in tanks of scalding water.

This occurs because the U.S. Department of Agriculture exempts birds from its enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that farm animals be insensible to pain before they're shackled and killed. The HSUS is working with retailers and the USDA to help move companies that slaughter birds toward a less cruel system.

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