Summary of the Spirit of Humane Slaughter Process

Developed on small farms under real conditions

  1. The animal is directed to follow its peers through a chute and into the restraint. For lower volumes the animal can be lead or positioned manually.
  2. The animal walks over the center track, which is designed to be unobtrusive and provides a comfortable guide for proper positioning.
  3. Using a lever, the operator raises the animal into the slaughter position assisted by a passive lift cylinder. With its weight supported and its legs off the ground, the animal becomes calm and relaxed.
  4. The equipment is designed to operate quietly, which minimizes stress on the animals.
  5. The knife and other activities are kept out of the sight of the animal by the solid walls of the restraint.

Working with the Equipment

Spirit of Humane equipment is easy to operate, easy to clean, designed to last, and meets U.S. regulatory standards, while providing for the highest level of animal welfare for small-scale slaughter. The equipment has no electrical or hydraulic requirements. It can be used on farm, where permitted, and in small slaughter facilities.

A conservative production line speed estimate (subject to future correction) is that the system is designed for the unhurried slaughter of about 15 animals per hour with an experienced work crew.

We have designed the equipment for economical shipping, including overseas. A pictorial instruction sheet is included to help guide the assembly.

Special Features

  • Adjustable sides for animals of varying sizes up to 200 pounds
  • Low maintenance and long equipment life
  • Portable
  • Spare parts easily available

The current design is for sheep and goats and can work for animals up to 200 pounds. Other designs for larger animals are in development.

Mobile Unit

We have also researched and designed a mobile slaughter unit for sheep and goats. The unit is designed for producers to replicate in collaboration with their regional meat safety officials for custom, state or USDA inpsected slaughter. You can download a pdf containing more information about the unit (684k pdf), or email us for more information.


Partial funding of the Spirit of Humane process was provided by a North Central Region SARE Producer Grant (www.sare.org), a Wisconsin Added Value Producer grant (www.datcp.state.wi.us) and the Browse & Grass Farmer Association (715-265-7637).

Goat in restraint The solid walls of the restraint prevent distraction. The center track is unobtrusive and provides a comfortable guide for proper positioning.

Raising restraint lever Using a lever, the operator raises the animal into the slaughter position.

goat restraint The young goat is relaxed and attentive in the restraint.

Facility MobileWide spaced steps for ease of entrance.