EFSA publishes report on welfare monitoring indicators for slaughter of cattle

The EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) has published a report on toolboxes of welfare indicators for developing monitoring procedures at slaughterhouses for bovines stunned with penetrative captive bolt or slaughtered without stunning.

Article 16 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/20094 on the protection of animals at the time of killing requires slaughterhouse operators to put in place and implement monitoring procedures in order to check that their stunning processes deliver the expected results in a reliable way. Those checks shall be carried out on a sufficiently representative sample of animals and their frequency shall be established taking into account the outcomes of previous checks and any factors which may affect the efficiency of the stunning process.

The report describes toolboxes of welfare indicators for developing monitoring procedures at slaughterhouses for bovines. The personnel performing pre-slaughter handling, stunning, shackling, hoisting and/or bleeding will have to check all the animals to rule out the presence of consciousness following captive bolt stunning or to confirm unconsciousness and death during slaughter without stunning. The person in charge of monitoring the overall animal welfare at slaughter (i.e. the animal welfare officer) has to check a certain sample of slaughtered animals for approval.

The report is a step forward towards better aninmal welfare in slaughterhouses and can be downloaded HERE.

 

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