A professor has won an award for a study which claims that animals do feel pain when slaughtered under the laws of shechita.
Dr Craig Johnson was honoured by the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) last week.
During the awards in London, Dr Johnson, of New Zealand’s Massey University, discussed his study, published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal, which claimed that cattle, slaughtered without stunning, experienced pain.
Dr James Kirkwood, chief executive of HSA, said: “This work provides significant support for the value of stunning animals prior to slaughter to prevent pain and distress, and the HSA hopes that it will help to change attitudes to the importance of stunning.”
But a Shechita UK spokesman said that the cut to the throat during shechita is so quick that the animal loses consciousness virtually immediately.
He said: “Shechita is instantaneous, and due to the immediate drop in blood pressure and [oxygen starvation] of the brain, the animal loses consciousness within two seconds.
“It conforms to the statuary definition of stunning, a process which causes the immediate loss of consciousness which lasts until death.”