WVC 19 -
CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.
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ARTICLE 2E. HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF LIVESTOCK.
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This article shall be known by the short title of "The
Humane Slaughter Act of 1982."
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§19-2E-2. Declaration of purpose.
The purpose of this article is to restrict the methods used
to slaughter cattle, sheep, swine and goats in commercial
slaughtering establishments in West Virginia to those approved as
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As used in this article:
(a) "Commercial slaughtering establishments" means a person
engaged for profit in this state in the business of slaughtering
or dressing animals for human consumption which are to be sold or
offered for sale through a commercial outlet or establishment;
(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture of
the state of West Virginia and his duly authorized
(c) "License" means any person licensed under the provisions
of article two-b, chapter nineteen of the code of West Virginia;
(d) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation,
association, fiduciary or other group of persons whether
organized or not;
(e) "Livestock" means cattle, swine, sheep or goats.
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§19-2E-4. Commissioner to enforce article; rules and
regulations; effective date.
The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions
of this article and shall have authority to issue regulations,
after a public hearing, following due notice to all interested
persons in conformance with the provisions of the state
administrative procedures as set forth in chapter twenty- nine-a
of this code, to carry out the provisions of the article.
Commercial slaughtering facilities shall be in compliance with
the provisions of this article within six months after the
effective date of the article.
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§19-2E-5. Methods of humane slaughter.
(a) Livestock, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast
or cut must be rendered insensible to pain by a single blow,
gunshot or by electrical, chemical or other means that is safe,
rapid and effective; or
(b) By slaughtering in accordance with the ritual
requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith
that prescribes a method of slaughter by the simultaneous and
instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp
instrument as well as handling techniques in connection with such
(c) By slaughtering in accordance with any method of humane
slaughter approved by the United States department of
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Any person violating any provision of this article or
regulations adopted hereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one
hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and for the
second offense, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five hundred
dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and shall have the
license to do business as a slaughtering establishment, under
article two-b, chapter nineteen of the code of West Virginia,
suspended until the facility is in compliance with the provisions
of this article.
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If any provision of this article or the application thereof
to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity
shall not affect other provisions or applications of the article
which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
application, and to this end the provisions of the article are
declared to be severable.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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