Humane Slaughter Violations

The federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requires that all cattle, pigs, sheep and goats be humanely handled at all times when on the premises of a federally or state-inspected slaughter plant.

Slaughter plants that violate the humane slaughter law may face one or more enforcement actions, including suspension of plant operations. AWI has issued a report on humane slaughter enforcement, and the organization maintains a listing of federal slaughterhouses that have been suspended due to violations of the humane slaughter law.

Suspension information is presented in Excel format and organized alphabetically by the name of the slaughter plant. USDA enforcement records, which describe the humane slaughter violation and how it was addressed, are available from AWI upon request.*

Humane Slaughter Plant Suspension List

Repeat Offenders

What constitutes a humane slaughter violation?

  • Driving animals off trucks and down ramps using excessive force or discomfort.
  • Failure to move any animal unable to walk off the truck on suitable equipment or to stun the animal before he or she is moved.
  • Dragging a conscious animal.
  • Failure to separate disabled animals from ambulatory animals and/or to place them in a covered pen.
  • Failure to provide animals with access to water, access to feed if held over 24 hours and sufficient room to lie down if held overnight.
  • Excessive use of electric prods to move animals.
  • Failure to maintain facilities and equipment in good repair to prevent injury or pain to the animals.
  • Making more than one attempt to render an animal unconscious by stunning and/or causing excitement or discomfort during stunning.
  • Shackling, hoisting or cutting still-conscious animals.

See the most common humane slaughter violations for poultry here.

* Contact Dena Jones (, AWI Farm Animal Program Manager, to receive assistance in obtaining slaughter plant enforcement documents.