Charles Mason avatar

Charles Mason


1 Webinars


After graduating from Harper Adams Agricultural College in 1980 I spent five years working with livestock on various farms. Following this, I worked in livestock marketing for three years, during which time I became associated with the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) and worked for it in a part-time capacity carrying out appraisals of livestock markets. Since 1988 I have worked full-time for the HSA, initially as a Technical Officer, as Chief Technical Officer from 1992–2001 and as Technical Director from 2001 to the present.

Instruction in the correct use and maintenance of various firearms, associated with the slaughter and emergency killing of farm animals, constitutes a large part of my work for the HSA. I hold both Firearm and Shotgun Certificates, as well as a full UK Slaughter Licence (including poultry). I am a regular speaker on firearms and slaughter equipment at veterinary conferences and training courses run by the Food Standards Agency for its Official Veterinary Surgeons and ancillary staff. With the support of the British Veterinary Association, I have written a course for veterinary undergraduates on the safe use of firearms. I am also responsible for instructing each course of trainee RSPCA Inspectors in the correct and safe use of captive-bolt equipment and .32 free-bullet humane killers. In addition to these regular bookings I run courses, on demand, for slaughtermen, knackermen, hunt servants, the State Veterinary Service, police forces and livestock farmers.

Outside the UK, I have been responsible for introducing new slaughter equipment (electrical and captive-bolt) to the meat industries of Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan, the Philippines, Eire and China. I have also taken part in seminars and organised practical training sessions within these countries. I have spoken on humane slaughter at conferences and veterinary meetings in Spain, Eire, Finland, Norway and Estonia. Outside the educational sphere, I have given evidence as an expert witness in cases of causing unnecessary suffering by inappropriate use of firearms, severe injury to abattoir personnel, and the animal welfare problems associated with an unlicensed abattoir.

My other area of expertise is that of livestock marketing. I have worked in both the dead-weight and live sectors of this industry, at one time working in two livestock markets, one of which I managed. Outside work I am involved with the organization and running of two annual livestock shows, being chairman of one, and I am a livestock steward at the Leicestershire Show. I also have a broad knowledge of livestock handling and transport; the handling, transport and slaughter of poultry; and the legislation relating to these areas.

Charles's previous Webinars


"The Webinar Vet has been very useful for me as a part time vet nurse and full-time mum with two children. It’s great and the webinars are amazing!"

Jo Scott Nurse

Webinars are a really a great idea, especially in my case (mom of young children, so taking a few days to go to seminars is nearly impossible!), and I know I'm not the only one!

Adeline Vinrech Vet, France

"Since having 2 kids, I've found it difficult to find time to get out to courses, so The Webinar Vet has been my lifeline. It has been fantastic"

Rachael Vet, Vet Partners