With an amendment to some of the regulations for slaughterhouses, Ontario has made some changes to the way that animals must be handled during the process. The new slaughter law has loosened rules for inspecting animals who have been killed on the farm prior to slaughtering them at meat plants. Under the previous law, ill or wounded animals would need to be taken to a slaughterhouse and inspected before killing them. With these regulations in place, farmers will be able to slaughter animals at their farms and then take them to a meat plant for processing.
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How Does This Impact Animals?
These changes in the regulations do not significantly impact the animals on farms. The circumstances leading to slaughter and the outcome of the animal being killed and the carcass processed for meat remains the same. The main difference between this regulation and the previous one is the removal of the postmortem evaluation by a veterinarian at the meat plant before processing the animal. It provides for a quick and efficient slaughter of animals who become sick or injured on a farm. The provision also now allows for animals slaughtered by a farmer or third party at the farm or hunted game to be processed at meat plants.
What Are The Advantages of The New Slaughter Law?
This regulation can benefit animals by reducing the pain and suffering of livestock that is gravely injured on the farm. These animals can be killed quickly and humanely instead of prolonging their suffering by transporting them to the slaughterhouse first. It also decreases food waste by processing the hunted game and food livestock that would not have been allowed to be slaughtered for twice as many weeks during the year.
What Are The Problems With The New Slaughter Law?
While the new regulations do not seem to change much on the surface, they are altering the decision-making process for animals that are safe to slaughter. Under the previous laws, there was more clarity about who needed to be involved and what steps were to be taken. Under these regulations, the language is vaguer. It makes the intent open to more interpretation than it had been, which means that there will be less consistency in implementation. It also makes the law difficult to enforce because it will be more difficult to prove that the language in the regulation has been violated. So, while the law is not inherently dangerous to animals as it is written, it could become so over time depending on how the language is interpreted.
Overall, the changes proposed to the slaughter laws appear to be positive and well-intended. Sick and injured animals can be handled more humanely, and fewer animals that are hunted and killed on farms will go to waste. More meat will be processed and used, resulting in less waste. However, it is essential to be conscious of how the new regulations could be misinterpreted and misconstrued. The lack of clarity in the way that the regulations are written could lead to unintended consequences and potentially put animals at more risk.