A slaughterhouse worker died in Hong Kong from injuries caused by a knife after a pig that had been rendered unconscious before being killed suddenly woke up. After the 61-year-old worker of the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, near the border with mainland China, shot the animal with a stun gun as part of his normal job, the pig regained consciousness and advanced towards the man throwing him to the ground. It is believed that this caused him to get cut himself with a 40-centimetre blade he was holding. A co-worker found him unconscious and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Department of Labour issued a press release saying investigations into the case were continuing. He said, “The Department of Labour mourns this death and expresses its deepest condolences to his family. We will complete the investigation as soon as possible to identify the cause of the accident and determine the responsibility of those at fault,” a department spokesman said.”
Slaughterhouses are not only lethal places for the animals that end up there, but they are also dangerous places for the workers, who often are people of very low income working there for lack of better job opportunities. In the US, such workers are often illegal immigrants from marginalised communities forced to work in very poor conditions. Not only they can be killed as in this tragic case, but they can suffer all sorts of psychological traumas when exposed to so much violence. Studies have shown that slaughterhouse workers can suffer from “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), but also from the lesser-known “perpetrator-induced traumatic stress” (PITS) syndrome, with symptoms such as increasing dissociation and nightmares. Carnism, and the industries it generates, not only is a nightmare for the animals but can be also a nightmare for many people, those fighting against it but also those being trapped in it.