Slaughtering Poultry

Author: Dr. Haroon Rashid Chaudhry, UCV &AS, IUB, BWP

slaughtering-poultryPoultry sector is one of the most organized and vibrant segments of agriculture industry of Pakistan. This sector generates direct and indirect employment and income for about 1.5 million  people. Its contribution in agriculture and livestock is 6.4 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively. Poultry meat contributes 25.8 percent of total meat production in the country. Current investment in the poultry industry is about Rs 200.00 billion. The sector is showing a robust growth of 8 to 10 percent annually, which reflects its inherent potential. Poultry industry in its current year (2012) has produced 13114.00 million commercial eggs and 834,000.00 tons of poultry meat.

Poultry has emerged as a leading industry because it was developed by poorest for the poor which ranged in farm strength starting from 1,000 birds to 10,000 flock size at a farm site. Since the last decade especially post bird flu era the major industrialists have shown interest in poultry farming as a lucrative business and have invested in the construction of control sheds with size ranging from 30,000 birds to 120,000 flock size at a farm. With the advent of modern intensive farming techniques in Pakistan, new challenges in disease protection and disease cure have emerged and posted a daunting challenge to the veterinarians and farm managers alike. Modern day practices in poultry farming have emerged without any laws governing their building design, place, farm to farm distance and have led to mushrooming effect sprouting in certain localities closer to major metropolitan cities.

Poultry industry has led to activities of slaughter phata’s which is a unique feature in itself to the region of sub-continent. To picture a poultry slaughter unit I have posted some pictures of the slaughtering techniques used in Pakistan.


Slaughtering phatas are usually owned by laymen and they pose a threat to the human health. Complete lack of resources in terms of money they start their business and the need to attain slaughtering technique or education is not required. Usually the laymen use boys who start to train as slaughtermen and when they mature they sit on the money box with a new face for cutting and slicing. To what extent is the food Halal is another question to be asked by molvi’s.


Most of the phatas you will find near or over gutter holes which are open completely or partially with the phata providing the cover standard. They are also found near city disposal sites. City dumps and garbage disposal areas are not good for business so no business will start there the only safe and useful place for a slaughtering poultry phata with less input and more output.

Cleanliness & Hygiene

Cleaniliness in terms of clothes or an apron is not in vogue and not to mention the utensils very old, rotten and usually not very clean. A bucket of water to disperse bacteria and viruses from one carcass to the other while the knife is dipped into the same water bucket routinely. A dirty cloth used to clean the broiler carcass which is also a good transmitting agens of infection. This leads to a complete disrespect for hygiene standards.


Dirty, rotten, and rusted out cages to hold the live birds and no washing or cleaning technique is used to prevent any dissemination of viruses. That holds true for even the vehicles used to transfer the birds. With no disinfection agent used while their cleaning.

Slaughtering Table

The slaughtering table usually is covered by a plastic sheet which is cleaned by a wet cloth. No disinfection or soaping is not an option to be practices.

Slaughtering tools

Where to begin and where to end I have no clue where the standards start and where they end, better not open this pandora’s box.

Slaughtering Temperatures

Complete disregard for the slaughtering temperatures and carcass holding temperatures be it hot and humid weather or the scorching sun of cholistan or the cold inclement weather in December and January. When the rigor mortis starts and when it ends this is usually in the plastic carrier’s bag.

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