Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC


  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )


  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 6. Slaughter [19501 - 19503]
  ( Chapter 6 added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1381. )


(a) Cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, goats, or fallow deer, or poultry shall be slaughtered by the methods prescribed in this section. No state agency shall contract for, purchase, procure, or sell all or any portion of any animal, unless that animal is slaughtered in conformity with this chapter. This chapter applies to any person engaged in the business of slaughtering animals enumerated in this section, or any person slaughtering any of those animals when all, or any part of, that animal is subsequently sold or used for commercial purposes.

(b) All cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, goats, or fallow deer subject to this part, or poultry subject to Part 1 (commencing with Section 24501) of, Part 2 (commencing with Section 25401) of, and Part 3 (commencing with Section 26401) of, Division 12 shall be slaughtered by either of the following prescribed methods:

(1) The animal shall be rendered insensible to pain by a captive bolt, gunshot, electrical or chemical means, or any other means that is rapid and effective before being cut, shackled, hoisted, thrown, or cast, with the exception of poultry which may be shackled.

(2) The animal shall be handled, prepared for slaughter, and slaughtered in accordance with ritual requirements of the Jewish or any other religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby 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.

This section does not apply to the slaughter of spent hens and small game birds, as defined by the department by regulation.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 373, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2001.)


(a) The department shall, on or before December 31, 1993, adopt regulations to implement Section 19501 as to the slaughter of poultry, and, thereafter, enforce those regulations.

(b) The regulations adopted under subdivision (a) shall apply to any person engaged in the business of slaughtering poultry, or to any person slaughtering poultry when all, or any part of, the poultry is subsequently sold or used for commercial purposes, except as provided in Section 19501. However, the department shall not utilize personnel to enforce those regulations with respect to any poultry plant in this state exempted from Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 24651) of Part 1 of Division 12 by Section 24712, 24713, or 24714.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 837, Sec. 2.)


The regulations adopted under this chapter shall conform as far as possible to the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture governing methods of slaughtering.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1381.)


The Department of Agriculture shall enforce the provisions of Section 19501 and is authorized and directed to perform the following duties:

Designate, on or before March 1, 1968, and at such times thereafter as it deems advisable, methods of slaughter and of handling in connection with slaughter, with respect to each species of livestock enumerated in Section 19501, which conform to the provisions of Section 19501. In addition, the department may designate other methods not specifically described in Section 19501. However, nothing in this section shall authorize the department to prohibit any method specifically permitted in Section 19501.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1381.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC