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Humane animal slaughter

Humane animal slaughter

The process of animal slaughtering should be smooth, friendly and humane. Before the practice, dress in a white overall coat and gumboots. Humane slaughtering process reduces exposure of animals to unnecessary injury, pain and suffering. A day before slaughter, health examination should be done to ensure only animals fit for human consumption proceed for slaughter. This is because if you feed at the time of slaughter, you will get false additional live weight. That little starving makes evisceration (removing inner contents) easy plus emptying the GIT (Gastro intestinal tract) contents becomes easy. The healthy are then provided with shelter and water but not food in most cases. To begin the slaughtering process, animals are walked in a friendly manner into the slaughterhouse. Be fair enough that they come in one by one so that the others do not get stressed from the process of stunning. Stunning is the first slaughter code of practice and involves hitting the animal using a captive bolt or blunt object which many can afford, in the middle forehead aiming at the brain. This should be very fast and just once, enough to make the animal instantaneously unconscious and insensible to pain before being killed. If the stunning process is not well done, the meat quality gets affected with possible presence of blood spots or bruise in the meat. Once unconscious, the animal is exsanguinated; has its throat cut or sharp object inserted through the chest and close to the heart. This is to cut the main veins and arteries. In case the animal very aggressive, restrain it before any process begin. Aversive methods of restraining make the animals to vocalize, indicating pain should be avoided. Thereafter it is suspended on an overhead rail with head facing down as for bleeding into a trough for later processing or pouring into sewage. Bleeding should also be quick to lower blood pressure that prevents bursting of blood capillaries, thus avoiding blood splash in the meat. This is followed by removal of hide form cattle or skin from small ruminants. This process should be handled with care to avoid creating cuts in the hides and skins or leaving meat on them. Good hides and skins can be cured and sold. Then the carcass is opened by cutting and intestines and internal organs removed, a process known as evisceration. The intestines are de-slimed and thoroughly washed while edible products like heart and liver are retained. Inedible parts including partially digested feed or paunch manure are disposed of well. The carcass is then split into parts, taken to butcheries, stored or handled depending on the use. After the slaughter process, the meat is inspected by a veterinary officer to qualify it fit for human consumption or be condemned.

Generally, all meat passed fit for consumption bears the Kenya government meat inspection stamp, as the official and correct label, done by a vet/meat inspector after examination. The label is made from harmless dye and is therefore harmless. This process of meat inspection is rigorous enough to ensure that it is not contaminated, no disease consequences, has no chemical residues, that it is clean and healthy meat, thus protects you from buying bad meat. Any false label should be reported since the meat may not have been examined. However, even after examination and passing fit, meat can stay for long to an extent that is not safe for you. They manner it is handled and stored greatly determines its quality. At this point visual examination by the consumer is helpful. Meat should have a uniform normal colour. When meat is exposed to air, oxidation begins which gradually turns the red color to brown or grey color which is unappetizing within just a few days. Fresh meat should also appear firm but not soft, this tells more on its water holding capacity after exposure to factors like cutting or pressing. Smell also has its say; meat should have normal smell depending on the source. Avoid rancid or strange smelling meat. Meat not bought within a day should be stored in a cool place, if possible under refrigeration just like supermarkets do for processed and packed meat. If careful enough when buying meat, you will enjoy the tenderness, juiciness and flavor of the meat.

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