Sentenced to Death
A Viva! report on the slaughter of farmed animals in the UK
Almost 900 million farmed animals are slaughtered for the dinner plate each year in the UK. The shift towards huge commercial enterprises means that less than 600 abattoirs are responsible for this vast killing operation. Every day, over two million living animals are unloaded from transporters, often after enduring lengthy journeys in cramped conditions. They are shunted through industrial buildings - often with electric goads - before meeting the slaughterman's knife.
In order to eat meat with a clear conscience, many consumers imagine the killing process to be a sanitized affair. Indeed, most meat-eaters agree that no animal deserves to suffer at the time of death. This concept of humane slaughter is supposed to be at the core of UK slaughter legislation. Welfare minister Ben Bradshaw, says that killing must be humane and that animals must be stunned so that they are unconscious and unable to feel pain during slaughter by bleeding (1).
Sentenced to Death proves beyond doubt that the Ministry of Agriculture's soothing words are meaningless. We have reviewed the latest scientific literature and obtained opinions from experts across the board. As a result, we have built up an extremely disturbing picture of the reality behind Britain's killing factories. Tens of millions of animals are being ineffectively stunned and are regaining consciousness while they bleed to death.