World's Poultry Science Journal

Research Article

Shackling of poultry: is it a welfare problem?

J.M. Sparreya1 and P.J. Kettlewella1

a1 Silsoe Research Institute, Wrest Park, Silsoe MK45 4HS, UK


The slaughter of poultry differs from the slaughter of all other meat-producing animals in that the live birds are hung upside down in shackles prior to slaughter. There is concern from animal welfare organizations such as the United Kingdom Farm Animal Welfare Council that this practice, although necessary for present methods of humane slaughter, causes possible distress and pain to the birds. This paper reviews the regulations on the provision for the welfare of poultry at slaughter as it affects shackling, the equipment involved in shackling, and the physiological and psychological effect of shackling on birds.


  • Pain;
  • poultry;
  • shackling;
  • slaughter;
  • welfare