Recommended Ritual Slaughter Practices

Ritual slaughter is slaughter done according to the religious requirements of either the Jewish or Muslim religious faith. The animal is slaughtered, without being stunned, with a razor sharp knife. When the cut is done correctly, the animal appears not to feel it. From an animal welfare standpoint, the major concern during ritual slaughter are the stressful and cruel methods of restraint (holding) that are used in some plants. Progressive slaughter plants use devices to hold the animal in a comfortable, upright position. Unfortunately, there are some plants which use cruel methods of restraint such as hanging live animals upside down. At Grandin Livestock Systems, we believe that the practice of hanging live cattle and calves upside down should be eliminated. For both humane and safety reasons, plants which conduct ritual slaughter should install modern upright restraining equipment. There are many different types of humane restraint devices available.

Time required for cattle to lose sensibility

Principles of Low Stress Restraint

Maintaining acceptable animal welfare during Kosher or Halal slaughter

Ritual Slaughter Tips

ASPCA Pen for Ritual Slaughter

Schematic Details of the ASPCA Pen for Ritual Slaughter

Conveyor Restrainer Systems

Small Restraint Systems

A Discussion For Meat Scientists

Conservative Jewish Law and Standards on shackling and hoisting

Translated article on Kosher slaughter from a religious journal in Israel

Kosher Meat from Uruguay

Answers to questions about cattle insensibility and pain during kosher slaughter and analysis of the Agriprocessors video

Evaluation of Methods of Restraint for holding (fixation) of Cattle,Calves, and Sheep for kosher and halal slaughter

Vocalization Scoring of Restraint for Kosher Slaughter of Cattle for an Animal Welfare Audit

Recommendations to facilitate onset of rapid insensibility after religious slaughter


Ritual Slaughter
Grandin, T. 1995
The Cut of Ritual Slaughter
Meat International. November / December (pages 36-39)

Grandin, T. 1994

Slaughter: Religious Slaughter and Animal Welfare
A Discussion For Meat Scientists

Meat Focus 3 : 115 - 123

Grandin, T. 1994

Euthanasia and Slaughter of Livestock
Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association
volume 204 : 1354 - 1360

Grandin, T. 1992

Observations of Cattle Restraint Devices
For Stunning and Slaughtering

Animal Welfare 1 : 85 - 90

Grandin, T. 1990

Humanitarian Aspects Of Schechitah In The United States
Judiasm 39 : 430 - 446

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