A city in Central China has imposed mandatory rules on slaughterhouses designed to make pigs more comfortable before they are killed so that their meat tastes better.

Pigs should be left alone for at least 12 hours before they are slaughtered, according to the new mandatory rules from the Zhengzhou City Commission in Henan province. Music should also be played if possible, as well as some walking and patting.

An official from the commission said that the humane killing techniques would produce the sweetest meat: “After long-distance transport, the rest can help pigs get rid of tiredness. It will ensure the pork has the best taste and will prevent water-logged pork entering the market.”

Any slaughterhouse found in violation of the new rules would be “severely punished”, facing a fine of ¥50,000 (US$7,300), the commission said.

Slaughterhouses insist the rules are impractical, especially for smaller businesses. One owner named Han said he did agree that keeping pigs in a roomy area for rest and preventing them from eating before slaughter was a good idea.

However Han also pointed out that getting pigs together before slaughter posed the potential of the pigs cross-infecting one another.

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Bill Lehane
Bill Lehane, 28, is a journalist and freelance writer from Dublin, Ireland. He recently returned from six months working as a teacher in east China, which gave him a chance to experience many of the wide, weird and wacky sights that make up daily life in the Middle Kingdom. However, he did not succeed in teaching the local teenagers anything whatsoever: they still love Michael Jackson, KFC and themselves. More at billlehane.com.
Bill Lehane

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