20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 21


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Consideration of the Bill before Parliament last week prompts us to relate our experience in regard to the slaughter of pigs by means of the combination of the " Schermer " pig trap and captive bolt pistol. We were indebted to you, Sir, for bringing the trap to our notice and we have found that its use as a preliminary to the application of the stunning pistol has greatly speeded up and simplified the bringing about of unconsciousness in the animal prior to hoisting and bleeding. The, method is, of course, slower than that by which the unsuspecting animal is shackled by the hind leg and hoisted fully alive and conscious on to the sticking rail, but on humani- tarian grounds we think this objection should not carry much weight as we ourselves with only one trap and one hoist easily slaughter at a rate exceeding sixty pigs per hour.

With regard to blood-splash and damage to the meat this does not occur even in so few as one per cent. of the pigs we slaughter. In fact, it in so rare that it would be absurd to attribute it to the stunning process on the very few occasions on which it does occur. Experience has shown that if the charge in the cartridge is properly adjusted to the size of the animal (so that unconsciousness and not instantaneous death is caused) and hoisting and sticking immediately carried out the carcase is fully drained of blood, no splash is caused and the hams and sides are in no way.. detrimentally affected for the purpose of curing.

It is now just four years since we installed the " Schermer " trap and we believe that we were the first firm in this country to do so. Since then it has been successfully adopted in many abattoirs and it must be a source of gratification to you, Sir, that you were the means of this advance in the cause of