A coalition of animal protection organizations has sent letters to more than 30 of the nation's largest chicken suppliers urging them not to consider the new slaughter method Low Atmospheric Pressure System, complain that the behavioral reactions of the chickens are not adequately described in recent LAPS research. The letter calls for further testing to determine the point at which birds become unconscious and whether or not the process causes anxiety, distress, or pain. The groups do support the use of Controlled-Atmospheric Stunning instead.
The groups also question the assertion in research led by Yvonne Thaxton, professor emeritus, Mississippi State University, that gas trapped in birds' abdomens is unlikely. They also say insufficient data regarding EEG and EKG results in birds while undergoing this method, as well as regarding birds' aversion to the decompression process.
Thaxton told Meatingplace that he is confident that when the most recent data is published there will be no doubt that LAPS is humane. The birds display no reaction to the process until loss of posture which is commonly used to indicate insensibility. Thaxton also said she recently completed work with scientific experts in analyzing EEG and EKG response of chickens during the LAPS procedure. That data is being reviewed.