McDonald's and Suppliers Taking on Activist Claims Concerning Slaughter

McDonald's and Suppliers Taking on Activist Claims Concerning Slaughter

A study has found no welfare advantage to controlled-atmosphere stunning.

According to an exclusive report by Feedstuffs, an industrial journal, McDonald's Corp. and two of its chicken suppliers: Tyson Foods Inc. and Keystone Foods LLC are behind the first-ever evaluation of controlled-atmosphere stunning. Their study says that CAS offers no significant welfare advantage over conventional low-voltage electrical stunning in the commercial processing of chickens. To read the report in its entirety, click HERE.


Under the use of CAS, chickens and other poultry are rendered unconscious by gas such as carbon dioxide and insensible to pain prior to slaughter. The same is done by poultry processors using the conventional technique of low-level electrical stunning.


Animal welfare experts have long had mixed views on which stunning practice is more humane.


"The research around CAS was incomplete, so we were interested in participating in this study to test this technology and better understand its potential to improve animal welfare," said Dr. Ken Opengart, who oversees Keystone's animal welfare practices.


While the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are opposed the conventional electrical stunning practice, the American Humane Association does not endorse one method over another.


"We believe that humane slaughter of food animals must be preformed using the best available science and in a manner that causes minimal or no distress to the animals," AHA president Marie Wheatley said. "We are not aware of any science-based, conclusive evidence that the distress chickens experience in existing electric stunning methods is either greater or less than that with gas anesthesia induction. Any claim that CAS is more humane is simply not founded on current science and should not be forced on the industry."



Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.