Disclosed is a novel method for reducing microbial levels on a hide of an
animal. In one embodiment, the method comprises stunning the animal
having a hide with a quantity of microorganisms on its hair, contacting
the hide of the animal with an alkaline solution having a pH from about 8
to about pH 13, contacting the animal with a second solution including
one or more of water, an organic acid, and hydrogen peroxide, and reusing
at least a portion of at least one of the first and second solutions.