What is a slaughterhouse?

A slaughter plant is a facility where animals are slaughtered.

The slaughterhouse is a facility where animals are slaughtered and the first stages of the meat packaging process take place. Slaughterhouses, also known as abattoirs or abattoirs, are found throughout the world, with the largest known facility being in Tar Heel, North Carolina, owned by Smithfield Foods. Slaughterhouses handle a wide variety of animals used for food in various regions of the world, including pigs, geese, ducks, chickens, cattle, turkeys, goats, sheep and horses.

A halal slaughter plant kills animals according to Islamic law.

A typical facility includes pens for animals waiting to be slaughtered and a “killing area” where animals are stunned to render them unconscious and bleed. Stunning is required by law in some regions of the world in response to animal welfare concerns. Once bled, the carcasses can be processed and inspected by health inspectors who confirm the meat is safe to eat. Meat can also be evaluated by inspectors and slaughterhouse personnel to determine how it can be labeled and sold.

Pigs may be among the animals killed in slaughter plants.

There are a few specialized types of slaughter plants. A community slaughterhouse can operate on a much smaller scale, providing a place for farmers to take animals to the butcher shop when they need to slaughter just a few animals. Some butchers also operate mobile slaughterhouses, which lead to the farm where the animals are raised so they can be processed on site.

Kosher and Halal slaughterhouses handle animals according to religious laws. Kosher and halal facilities are exempt from the law requiring stunning and the facility may be overseen by a religious authority or official who confirms that the slaughterhouse is functioning properly. Meat from these slaughterhouses can be more expensive as the kosher or halal certification process takes more work.

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Organic meat can also be handled in separate slaughterhouses to avoid confusing organic meat with conventionally produced meat during slaughter and processing. Specialty slaughterhouses are required to comply with the health code, like their conventional counterparts, and are subject to surprise inspections by government officials who can assess conditions at the slaughterhouse. Inspectors can also audit the slaughterhouse to confirm that it is truly organic, kosher or halal.

Historically, many cities had at least one slaughter plant, and cities like Chicago had a large number, reflecting the fact that the city served as a rail hub where various animals could be shipped for slaughter and processed meat could be shipped back. . This trend has changed, as the public is often opposed to having meatpackers close to their neighborhoods because of the noise and smell. This has led to the emergence of colossal meat factories in centralized locations, rather than smaller facilities that handle a limited number of animals and spread across a region.

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