Brian Daly interviews animal welfare researcher, consultant, and slaughter specialist Dr Leisha Hewitt.
Leisha’s passion for animal welfare started at young age and was born from the empathy for animals her mother taught her to have. When choosing a place of study as a young adult it became obvious that the options for studying animal welfare weren’t as clear cut as they are today. Having opted to study meat science, Leisha was led down the path of researching animal welfare during slaughter. Now, Leisha holds a PhD in Clinical Veterinary Science, is a well-respected animal welfare consultant, member of the OIE technical committee on the killing of farmed reptiles and qualified Lead Auditor and Animal Welfare Assessor. What started in the beginning as simply learning to care about animals, no doubt has evolved into a career that has shaped and improved the welfare of many animals globally.
In the last episode of season 1 of this podcast we found out more about the process of animal slaughter, and how effective stunning works in ensuring animals are slaughtered or killed in a humane manner. But the way animals are treated from the time they arrive at an abattoir through to being stunned pre slaughter can also greatly affect their welfare. The competencies and experience of stockpersons, as well as plant infrastructure, certification requirements and overarching legislation, all play a part in the humane handling of animals throughout the slaughter process.
Join us in this episode as we discuss with Leisha how animals are handled at abattoirs, and how this can be done humanely.
· What happens to animals in abattoirs from arrival through to pre slaughter stunning
· How stockpersons and operators can ensure that handling is done humanely
· What humane slaughter means