This is how we do it
At The Royal Butcher, animals are unloaded into a barn specifically designed to reduce stress and encourage forward movement. We ask that all animals be delivered in a trailer and have ID tags. If you have questions about transporting or unloading your animals, give us a call. The animals are allotted time to calm down from their ride and are given fresh water. Our kill floor employees are trained in humane handling and have experience moving animals. It is always good to talk to the workers helping you unload, especially if your animal is skittish or aggressive. The goal is to keep animals calm and to get them to walk into the holding box as easily as possible. We use a captive bolt gun to stun animals and have an intensive training program for all employees to ensure proper use and maintenance. After stunning, the animals are bled out, skinned, gutted, trimmed and washed. A USDA inspector is present at all times on the harvest floor. He or she is there to make sure we are working cleanly and safely.
What does it mean to have your animals slaughtered at an inspected facility?
The role of the inspector is mainly to ensure we are stunning animals effectively every time, that the animals we process are not diseased or in anyway harmful to the consumer, that we are not allowing any contamination on the carcasses and that we are employing our sanitation procedures as necessary. All this can provide comfort to the producer by acknowledging that their animals were processed professionally and their meat is safe to consume. At the same time, having a highly regulated slaughter process can make doing things that are easy on the farm difficult at the plant. For example, if you are hoping to receive the brains of your animal for consumption, we cannot provide them for you because federal food safety regulations do not allow it. Receiving your organs for consumption is not a guarantee because the inspector may find abnormalities in the organs that deem them inedible. For the most part, these examples rarely cause issues because we are available to go over cut sheets with producers when they drop off their animals. If you have questions about your cut sheets, don't hesitate to contact us. Or, if you have special requests for your products, let us know ahead of time and we can see how we can accommodate your needs.
What is humane handling?
At The Royal Butcher we refer to Temple Grandin for much of our procedures and trainings. Click here to learn about what Temple Grandin advises in animal welfare.