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Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Regulation 8

SCHEDULE 2The Construction, Equipment and Maintenance of Slaughterhouses and Knackers' Yards

Part IRequirements for all Slaughterhouses and Knackers' Yards

General requirements for all slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

1.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard shall ensure that—

(a)its construction, facilities, equipment and operation are such as to spare animals any avoidable excitement, pain, injury or suffering;

(b)it has suitable equipment and facilities available for the purpose of unloading animals from means of transport;

(c)there are no sharp edges or protrusions in the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard with which any animal may come into contact;

(d)the place of slaughter or killing is sited in such a way as to minimise handling of the animal at any time up to the point of slaughter or killing;

(e)any instrument, restraining equipment, other equipment or installation which is used for stunning, slaughter or killing is designed, constructed and maintained so as to facilitate rapid and effective stunning, slaughter or killing in accordance with these Regulations; and

(f)for emergency use, suitable spare equipment and instruments for stunning, slaughter or killing are kept at the site within the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard where stunning, slaughter or killing takes place and—

(i)such equipment and instruments are properly maintained and thoroughly inspected regularly by the occupier or by a competent person acting on his behalf in order to ensure that there is no defect in any of them; and

(ii)any defect found at any time in such equipment or instruments is rectified forthwith.

Part IIAdditional Requirements for Slaughterhouses or Knackers' Yards to which Animals are delivered other than in Containers

Additional requirements for slaughterhouses or knackers' yards to which animals are delivered other than in containers

2.  In addition to the requirements of paragraph 1, the occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard to which animals are delivered other than in containers shall ensure that—

(a)any equipment for unloading such animals is of a suitable height and design for that purpose, has non-slip flooring and, if necessary, is provided with lateral protection;

(b)any bridge, ramp, and gangway is fitted with sides, railings or some other means of protection to prevent animals falling off them;

(c)any exit and entry ramp has the minimum possible incline;

(d)all passageways are so constructed as to minimise the risk of injury to any animal and so arranged as to take account of the gregarious tendencies of the animals which use them; and

(e)where the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard is one in which horses are slaughtered or killed, a separate room or bay is provided there for use for the slaughter or killing of horses.

Additional requirements relating to lairages other than field lairages

3.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard to which animals are delivered other than in containers shall ensure that—

(a)the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard is equipped with a sufficient number of pens for adequate lairaging of the animals with protection from the effects of adverse weather conditions;

(b)any lairage has—

(i)a floor which minimises the risk of slipping and which does not cause injury to any animal which is in contact with it;

(ii)adequate ventilation to ensure that temperature, air relative humidity and ammonia levels are kept within limits that are not harmful to any animal, taking into account the extremes of temperature and humidity which may be expected;

(iii)where such ventilation is provided other than naturally, a replacement means of maintaining adequate ventilation available for use if the original source of ventilation fails;

(iv)adequate lighting (whether fixed or portable) available to enable the animals to be thoroughly inspected at any time;

(v)where necessary, suitable equipment for tethering animals; and

(vi)drinking facilities and racks, mangers or other equipment adequate in number and size for the watering and feeding of all animals confined in the lairage, fixed where practicable, and so constructed and placed that they are easily accessible to all the animals, can readily be filled and cannot readily be fouled; and

(c)where the lairage is one in which any horses are confined, the lairage contains at least one loose box which is so constructed as to minimise the danger of any horse injuring itself or any other animal confined in that lairage.

Additional requirements for field lairages

4.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard shall ensure that any field lairage—

(a)if it is without natural shelter or shade and is used during adverse weather conditions, has appropriate protection against such conditions for any animal using it;

(b)is maintained in such condition as to ensure that no animal is subjected to any physical, chemical or other health hazard;

(c)where necessary, has suitable equipment for tethering animals;

(d)has adequate lighting (whether fixed or portable) available to enable the animals to be thoroughly inspected at any time; and

(e)is provided with drinking facilities and, if necessary, with racks, mangers or other equipment adequate in number and size for the watering and feeding of all animals confined in the field lairage, fixed where practicable, and so constructed and placed that they are easily accessible to all the animals, can readily be filled and cannot readily be fouled.

Part IIIShackle Lines

Additional requirements for slaughterhouses containing shackle lines for birds

5.  Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 1, the occupier of a slaughterhouse where birds are slaughtered or killed shall ensure that—

(a)any shackle line is designed and positioned in such a way that—

(i)any bird suspended on it is kept clear of any obstruction; and

(ii)disturbance is reduced to a minimum;

(b)the whole length of the shackle line up to the point of entry into the scald tank is immediately accessible to any person so that any bird may, if necessary, receive attention; and

(c)there is ready access to any processing equipment used for live birds and to any controls of such equipment.

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