HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS FOR FOOD : PROPOSED LEGISLATION
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sun,—We are gratified to read the excellent letter front Dr. Pesel on this subject. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is making headway in securing the adoption of mechanically operated instruments in the slaughter of animals for food, and it has been consistently the Society's aim to insure that not only cattle, but equally calves, sheep and pigs receive instantaneous stunning before blood is drawn.
The Society has for some years past conducted a somewhat costly campaign in presenting pistols of various types to butchers and others, and in slaughter-houses of twenty-five counties of Scotland mechanically operated instruments are now in daily use. There has been much groundless prejudice against a " free bullet " instrument, but " captive-bolt " instruments have now been perfected, and the Society main- tens an attitude of impartiality upon t'ais Feeling assured that Scotland is more prepared for legisla- tion on the subject than England, particularly in view of the provisions of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, the Society has drafted a Bill for the humane slaughter of animals in Scotland, and a deputation of butchers and others waited upon the Secretary of State for Scotland in November last and urged the merits of the draft Bill. The Secretary of State expressed himself as in sympathy with the objects of the Bill, and it has, in principle, further received the approval of influential bodies connected with agriculture in Scotland. The support of M.P.s is now being sought for this Bill, and copies of the draft will gladly be sent to any of your readers, to whom we appeal to interest themselves in this much needed reform.
May we add that both Edinburgh and Glasgow Corporations have recently decided to make the use of humane killers, &c., compulsory in the City abattoirs, although we fear this is as yet intended to apply only in the case of cattle ?—We are, Secretaries, Scottish S.P.C.A. 19 Melville Street, Edinburgh.
NoTE.---The Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, provides that no animal for food shall be slaughtered outside the Burgh Abattoir where one exists, except an animal slaughtered by an individual for his own consumption. This greatly restricts the number of private slaughter-houses in Scotland.