Dutch controversy over gassing of pigs

Controversy is brewing in the Netherlands over whether carbon dioxide poisoning before slaughter is a humane way of rendering pigs insensible to pain. The controversy stems from a video.
The video shows an experiment at the University of Zurich involving a pig that was conditioned to feed in an isolated and sealed space. On a given day, however, the pig is greeted not with its usual plate of food, but a gradual stream of the carbon dioxide gas anesthetic instead. Footage shows the pig frantically jumping up and down trying to breath, until it drops down exhausted. After the anesthesia wears off the pig refuses to reenter the room to be fed and opts instead to go without food and water for three days.
According to the largest slaughterhouse company in Europe, Vion, both methods have their downsides. Electrocution is quick, but has to happen to each pig individually. Whereas a gas anesthetic takes 10 to 20 seconds, but the abattoir can anesthetise the pigs in groups, thereby removing the need to separate the social animals from their groups.
The biggest downside? Ask the pig.


Anonymous said...

Carbon Dioxide poisoning is not humane. The Carbon Dioxide mixes with water in the respiratory tract to form Carbolic Acid wich painfully burns the lining of the respiratory tract. I don't believe in slautering animals for food anyway but it should be noted that Carbon Dioxide is not an anesthetic and would cause the animal to suffer a very painful death.