The UK-based Humane Slaughter Association is an independent international charity concerned exclusively with promoting the humane treatment of all food animals worldwide during transport, at markets and at slaughter.

It works through research, education, training and technical advances, alongside agriculture, the meat industry, veterinary, and other welfare and professional organizations.

Among its achievements is the 1920s introduction of the now almost universally mandatory use of stunning equipment at slaughter.

The HSA provides up-to-date technical information and advice on all aspects of animal handling, transport and slaughter, and training in humane methods of handling and slaughter of livestock for farmers, vets, abattoir staff and students. Its courses include on-farm slaughter of poultry, and it produces a series of technical educational materials.

It also works on the development and application of appropriate scientific advances into the working practice of the meat industry.


The association offers independent advice to governments, other welfare organizations and the food industry worldwide, and pays visits to markets and slaughterhouses, recommending and advising on improvements where necessary.

It offers funding for essential research projects through grants and awards. For example, in May 2011, the HSA awarded its first Research Training Scholarship to address the need for a humane method for killing chickens where neck dislocation is the standard practice. It also makes grants toward the improvement of animal handling facilities in markets and slaughterhouses.

In 2011, the HSA marked its centenary with a major international symposium focusing on recent advances in the welfare of livestock at slaughter.

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