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Whether we like it or not, the truth is that in order to enjoy a tasty, meat-based meal, an animal has to be sacrificed. But the killing of a domestic animal meant for human consumption is a process in itself that has to be done properly by qualified experts in order for the animal to suffer as little as possible and for the meat to be as healthy and tasty as it can be. As with any other process, in order to obtain a good beef carcass, the butcher has to follow 3 steps: the preslaughter, the stunning and the slaughtering.
But before we explain what these 3 steps require, we have to draw attention to the fact that the way animals are treated before slaughtering has a major impact on meat quality.
How does the slaughter process affect the meat carcass?
The treatment applied to animals before killing is of utmost importance when it comes to their wellbeing and to the quality of the produce we will consume. Let’s see how this treatment can affect the end product – the meat.
Animal stress factors such as food, water, light, or fresh air deprivation, rough transport conditions or handling, the lack of proper ventilation inside the farm or the lack of space, should be avoided at all costs.
Animals should be treated kindly at all time, whether they are on their way to the abattoir, or at the farm. Failing to do so will cause stress, which, in its turn, will cause the release of sugar into the bloodstream, prior to slaughter. Once the animal has been killed, this sugar found inside the muscles will be broken down, producing lactic acid which will lead to a higher acidity. This will eventually affect the muscle structure in such a way that the meat will become soft and exudative and, therefore, of a lower quality.
All in all, any form of stress, even at the lowest level, affects the animal, the quality of the meat, and, ultimately, the meat consumers.
The 3 steps of the slaughter process
As mentioned before, in order to produce excellent quality meat carcasses, the butcher has to follow 3 steps:
1. The Preslaughter
In this phase, the animals should be very well cleaned and rested. It is important that the last meal is taken a day before the killing, to prevent the occurrence of infections caused by bacteria found in the intestine of the animal.
2. The Stunning
Once the animal is brought to the abattoir, the process of slaughtering begins. First of all, the animal is kept in a cage that limits its physical movement. Secondly, the animal is stunned to ensure an easier killing manipulation and a no-pain death. The stunning process is usually done by 3 methods: mechanical (firing a bolt through the cattle’s skull using a pneumatic pistol), electrical (the butcher passes some electrical shocks through the brain of the animal), or by carbon dioxide gas (the mix of CO2 gases having an anesthetic effect).
3. The Slaughtering
In this final step, the animals are usually suspended by a limb in order to be killed through a knife cut in the carotid artery and jugular vein. This is one of the most common methods because it allows maximum blood drain from the body. The procedure differs from animal to animal, as some types of killing are more appropriate for cattle, while others are more fitted for sheep.
Seradria – one of the major livestock exporting businesses in Romania
Since 1994 when it was founded, Seradria has been one of the greatest Romanian companies who play an active role on the international market of livestock exports (cattle and sheep).
With the main export partners coming from the Middle East, Seradria pays close attention to requests coming in from countries found in this area of the world (like sacrificing the animals according to a Halal ritual specific to Islamic countries). Also, among the documents necessary for export, the company provides a sanitary and veterinary certificate which is specific for each country and that certifies the excellent health status of the animals.
The large farm where the cattle and sheep are fattened and monitored by a veterinarian is located in the area of Cluj Napoca County, having been built and managed according to European Union standards currently in place.
Being authorised by the ANSVSA (National Sanitary Veterinary Authority for Food Safety), Seradria also exports cattle and sheep carcasses, sacrificed in the proper manner for each country of destination.