THE HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS [To the Editor of the
Sin,—The letter in your issue of August 8th is so entirely at variance with my own experience of fifty years in slaughter- houses (during nearly thirty of which I was Superintendent of one of the most important municipal slaughterhouses in Britain) that I crave your indulgence for a brief reply.
For twenty-five years all our cattle were slaughtered with humane instruments, and this was approved of by the butchers,. both masters and men, and no fear of danger from the bullet existed. Out of 100,000 cattle slaughtered there was only one very small mishap, and that due to the man's carelessness. This is a very small percentage compared with the great advantages obtained. I am quite at a loss to understand how, as your correspondent states, one shot out of every six failed to be effective. I have personally visited nearly fifty slaughterhouses in this country, and have myself demonstrated on cattle in twenty of these places, and have never registered a single failure. If your correspondent would give me the opportunity, I think I could with a hundred cart- ridges effectively render unconscious a hundred cattle of any size, sex or breed, without placing any person in danger or injuring any part of the carcase. How any man with so much experience can defend the poleaxe I cannot understand. Only a few weeks ago I saw a slaughterman at work with his first beast, a medium sized cow. The first blow with the poleaxe failed to be effective, the second entered the nostril, and the third perhaps would not have been really successful had not a cane been run up through the hole made with the poleaxe—a process quite unnecessary where the Humane Killer is in use.
With regard to the expense, let me commend the action of my old employers, the Corporation of Carlisle. They supply all the instruments and cartridges, are responsible for the cleaning of the instruments, and pay the cost of all repairs. But even if the expense had to be borne by the butcher himself, it would only raise, at a maximum, the price of a beast costing £25 to £25 Os. 3d., including cost of instrument and cartridges. Compare that with the great humanitarian gain obtained in the abolition of all the suffering and torture caused by the poleaxe, and you will at once decide that the old method must give place to the modern one.—I am, Sir, &c., JosEN DODDS, Expert Adviser to the Animal Defence Society, late Superintendent Carlisle Municipal Abattoir. Letchworth, Herts.