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

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Regulation 17

SCHEDULE 9Slaughter or Killing methods for the purpose of Disease Control


1.  In this Schedule—

“animal” means any soliped, ruminant, pig, rabbit or bird; and

“disease control” means the control by the Department of any disease which is notifiable by or under the provisions of the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1).

Permitted methods of slaughtering or killing animals for the purpose of disease control

2.  No person shall slaughter or kill any animal for the purpose of disease control, or cause or permit any animal to be slaughtered or killed for that purpose, except by one of the following methods—

(a)free bullet;


(c)exposure to carbon dioxide or to a lethal concentration of other gases or gas mixtures;

(d)for rabbits and birds, dislocation of the neck;

(e)captive bolt, provided that—

(i)the animal is either pithed or the blood vessels in its neck are severed without delay afterwards and in any event before the animal regains consciousness; and

(ii)apart from the requirements in (i), nothing more is done to the animal before it has been ascertained that the animal is dead; or

(f)lethal injection of—

(i)a drug with anaesthetic properties which causes rapid loss of consciousness followed by death; or

(ii)any other compound if preceded by the induction of anaesthesia.

Specific requirements for killing for the purpose of disease control by electrocution

3.  No person shall kill any animal for the purpose of disease control by electrocution, or cause or permit any animal to be so killed, unless—

(a)the strength and duration of the current used are sufficient to kill immediately an animal of that species; and

(b)the animal has been stunned in accordance with paragraph 5, or with paragraphs 8 and 9, or with paragraphs 10 and 11 of Schedule 5.

Specific requirements for stunning by use of a captive bolt instrument

4.—(1) No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, a captive bolt instrument to stun any animal prior to its slaughter or killing for the purpose of disease control unless—

(a)subject to sub-paragraph (3), the instrument is positioned so as to ensure that the projectile enters the cerebral cortex; and

(b)the instrument is applied in the proper position and the correct strength of cartridge or other propellant is used, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, to produce an effective stun.

(2) No person shall shoot, or cause or permit to be shot, any bovine animal in the back of the head.

(3) No person shall shoot, or cause or permit to be shot, any sheep or goat in the back of its head, unless the presence of horns prevents use of the top or the front of its head, in which case it may be shot in the back of the head provided that—

(a)the shot is placed immediately behind the base of the horns and aimed towards the mouth; and

(b)bleeding is commenced within 15 seconds of shooting or the sheep or goat is killed within 15 seconds of shooting in accordance with Part III of Schedule 5.

5.  Any person who uses a captive bolt instrument shall check that the bolt is retracted to its full extent after each shot and if it is not so retracted shall ensure that the instrument is not used again until it has been repaired.

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