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Rhode Island

West's General Laws of Rhode Island Annotated. Title 4. Animals and Animal Husbandry. Chapter 17. Humane Slaughter of Livestock

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Gen. Laws, 1956, 4-17-1 - 7

Citation: RI ST 4-17-1 - 7


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:  

This section comprises Rhode Island's humane slaughter provisions.  It begins first by declaring it to be the policy of the state that the slaughter of all livestock and the handling of livestock, in connection with slaughter, be carried out only by humane methods.  A "humane method" is defined as a method through which the animal is rendered insensible to pain by mechanical, electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut; or a method in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith through which the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain.  Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred ($500) dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

 



Statute in Full:

4-17-1. Declaration of policy. --

It is declared and determined as a matter of legislative finding that the use of humane methods in the slaughter of livestock prevents needless suffering, results in safer and better working conditions for persons engaged in the slaughtering industry, brings about improvement of products and economy in slaughtering operations, and produces other benefits for producers, processors, and consumers that tend to expedite the orderly flow of livestock and their products. It is declared to be the policy of the state to require that the slaughter of all livestock and the handling of livestock, in connection with slaughter, be carried out only by humane methods and to provide that methods of slaughter conform generally to those employed in other states where humane slaughter is required by law and to those authorized by the Federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, 7 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq., and regulations under that act.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-2. Definitions. --

As used in chapter:

(1) "Director" means the director of environmental management.

(2) "Humane method" means either:

(i) A method through which the animal is rendered insensible to pain by mechanical, electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut; or

(ii) A method in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith through which the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument.

(3) "Livestock" means cattle, cows, sheep, swine, horses, mules, goats and any other animal which can or may be used in and for the preparation of meat or meat products.

(4) "Packer" means any person engaged in the business of slaughtering, or manufacturing or preparing meat or meat products for sale, either by that person or others, or of manufacturing or preparing livestock products for sale by that person or others.

(5) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or association doing business in this state, in whole or in part.

(6) "Slaughterer" means any person who regularly engages in the commercial slaughtering of livestock.

(7) "Stockyard" means any place, establishment, or facility commonly known as a stockyard, conducted or operated for compensation or profit as a public market, consisting of pens, or other enclosures, and their appurtenances, for the handling, keeping, and holding of livestock for the purpose of sale or shipment.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-3. Shackling and hoisting. --

No slaughterer, packer, or stockyard operator shall shackle, hoist, or otherwise bring livestock into position for slaughter by any method which causes injury or pain.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-4. Method of slaughter. --

No slaughterer, packer, or stockyard operator shall bleed or slaughter any livestock except by a humane method.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-5. Administration -- Rules and regulations -- Manual use of hammer, sledge, or poleax declared inhumane. --

The director shall administer the provisions of this chapter. He or she shall promulgate and may from time to time revise rules and regulations which conform substantially to the rules and regulations promulgated by the secretary of agriculture of the United States pursuant to the Federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, 7 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq. The use of a manually operated hammer, sledge or poleax is declared to be an inhumane method of slaughter within the meaning of this chapter.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-6. Penalty for violations. --

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred ($500) dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

4-17-7. Exemption of ritual slaughter. --

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, in order to protect freedom of religion, ritual slaughter and the handling or other preparation of livestock for ritual slaughter are exempted from the terms of this chapter. For the purposes of this section, the term "ritual slaughter" means slaughter in accordance with § 4- 17-2(2)(ii).

History of Section.

P.L. 1961, ch. 26, § 1.

 

 



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