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

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Regulation 4(3)

SCHEDULE 1The Licensing of Slaughtermen

Scope of this Schedule

1.  The requirements of this Schedule shall not apply to any person who—

(a)for emergency reasons relating to the welfare of any animal has to slaughter or kill that animal immediately;

(b)slaughters or kills any animal elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, provided that he is the owner of the animal and the slaughter or killing is for his private consumption;

(c)slaughters or kills any animal other than for a commercial purpose;

(d)kills by means of a free bullet any animal in the field;

(e)kills a bird by means of dislocation of the neck or decapitation on premises forming part of an agricultural holding on which the bird was reared;

(f)kills any animal for the purpose of disease control in accordance with Schedule 9;

(g)kills any fox or mink in accordance with Schedule 10;

(h)kills surplus chicks or embryos in hatchery waste in accordance with Schedule 11;

(i)operates any automatic equipment used to stun, slaughter or kill any animal without performing any of the operations specified in paragraph 3;

(j)shackles birds before stunning or killing; or

(k)is a veterinary surgeon acting in the exercise of his profession or a person acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon so acting.

The licensing of slaughtermen

2.  No person shall carry out any of the operations specified in paragraph 3 except—

(a)under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted and registered under paragraph 5;

(b)under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956(1); or

(c)under and in accordance with the terms of a provisional licence granted under paragraph 7.

Operations which require a licence

3.  The operations mentioned in paragraph 2 for which a licence is required are any of the following—

(a)the restraint of any animal for the purpose of stunning, slaughtering or killing that animal;

(b)the stunning of any animal;

(c)the slaughter of any animal;

(d)the killing of any animal;

(e)the pithing of any stunned animal;

(f)the assessment of effective stunning, pithing or killing of any animal by any person whose duty it is to make such an assessment;

(g)the shackling or hoisting of any stunned animal; and

(h)the bleeding of any animal which is not dead.

Certificates of competence

4.—(1) In this Schedule “certificate of competence” means—

(a)a certificate issued under sub-paragraph (2) by a veterinary surgeon authorised for the purpose by the Department (“an authorised veterinary surgeon”); or

(b)a licence granted to the applicant for the purpose of slaughtering animals by the Jewish method by the Rabbinical Commission for the licensing of Shochetim in England and Wales or by the Chief Rabbi in Scotland.

(2) An authorised veterinary surgeon shall issue a certificate of competence if—

(a)having assessed the applicant, the authorised veterinary surgeon is of the opinion that the applicant—

(i)is competent to carry out all the operations mentioned in paragraph 3 in respect of which he is applying for a certificate without causing avoidable pain, excitement or suffering to any animal; and

(ii)has sufficient knowledge of the provisions of all the relevant legislation and of any relevant current code issued under regulation 7 relating to the operations in respect of which he is applying for a certificate;

(b)the applicant is, in the opinion of the authorised veterinary surgeon, a fit and proper person to hold a certificate; and

(c)the applicant is not below the age of 18.

(3) Any person applying for a certificate of competence who has been convicted of any offence mentioned in paragraph 8(b) shall give to the authorised veterinary surgeon written details of any such conviction.

(4) Any certificate of competence issued under sub-paragraph (2) shall specify the matters which it covers, namely—

(a)the relevant operations mentioned in paragraph 3;

(b)the relevant species of animals; and

(c)the relevant equipment or instruments.

The grant and registration of licences

5.—(1) Where the Department receives a certificate of competence for registration, together with the appropriate fees, it shall grant and register a licence (hereinafter referred to as “a registered licence”) if—

(a)in its opinion the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence; and

(b)the applicant provides any information required in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) Any person applying to the Department for a registered licence shall give written details if—

(a)he has been refused by any district council (and if so by which) a licence to slaughter animals under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956;

(b)he has had any such licence revoked or suspended by any district council (and if so by which); or

(c)he has been convicted of any offence mentioned in paragraph 8(b).

(3) Any licence granted and registered under sub-paragraph (1) shall specify the matters which it covers, namely—

(a)the relevant operations mentioned in paragraph 3;

(b)the relevant species of animals; and

(c)the relevant equipment or instruments.

(4) Any registered licence which is granted under sub-paragraph (1) shall be valid throughout Northern Ireland and shall remain in force until any such time as it may be revoked or suspended by the Department.

Modification of registered licences

6.—(1) Any holder of a registered licence who wishes it to be modified in respect of any of the matters set out in paragraph 5(3) shall first obtain a provisional licence in respect of those modifications.

(2) A certificate of competence in respect of any modifications shall be obtained in accordance with paragraph 4 and sent to the Department before a registered licence to cover those modifications can be granted.

Grant of provisional licences

7.—(1) An authorised veterinary surgeon shall grant a provisional licence to any applicant who—

(a)is, in the opinion of the authorised veterinary surgeon, a fit and proper person to hold a provisional licence;

(b)is not below the age of 18; and

(c)provides any information required by sub-paragraph (2).

(2) Any person applying to an authorised veterinary surgeon for a provisional licence shall give written details if—

(a)he has been refused by any district council (and if so by which) a licence to slaughter animals under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956;

(b)he has had any such licence revoked or suspended by any district council (and if so by which);

(c)he has had any licence issued under these Regulations revoked or suspended by the Department; or

(d)he has been convicted of any offence mentioned in paragraph 8(b).

(3) Any provisional licence granted in accordance with sub-paragraph (1) shall specify the matters which it covers, namely—

(a)the relevant operations mentioned in paragraph 3;

(b)the relevant species of animals; and

(c)the relevant equipment or instruments.

(4) A provisional licence shall authorise a person to carry out the matters which it covers only in the presence of, and in accordance with any directions given by, a person who is—

(a)a veterinary surgeon;

(b)the holder of a registered licence granted in accordance with paragraph 5(1) and covering the same matters as the provisional licence; or

(c)the holder of a licence granted by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956.

(5) Any provisional licence granted under sub-paragraph (1) shall remain in force for such period not exceeding three months as may be specified in the provisional licence and may be renewed at the discretion of an authorised veterinary surgeon.

(6) Any provisional licence granted under sub-paragraph (1) shall be valid throughout Northern Ireland.

Refusal of a provisional licence, a certificate of competence or a registered licence

8.  An authorised veterinary surgeon may refuse to issue a certificate of competence or refuse to grant a provisional licence and the Department may refuse to grant a registered licence if the applicant—

(a)has failed to comply with—

(i)any condition of any licence previously granted to him under these Regulations; or

(ii)any condition of any licence to slaughter animals previously granted to him by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956; or

(b)has been convicted of an offence under—

(i)these Regulations;

(ii)the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956;

(iii)the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972(2);

(iv)the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(3) being a contravention of any order regulating the transport of animals; or

(v)any other provision concerning the welfare of animals.

Suspension and revocation of licences

9.—(1) The Department may suspend or revoke a registered licence granted under these Regulations or any licence granted by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956 and an authorised veterinary surgeon may revoke any provisional licence, if—

(a)the Department or, as the case may be, the authorised veterinary surgeon is satisfied that the holder of the licence is no longer a fit and proper person to hold it;

(b)the Department or, as the case may be, the authorised veterinary surgeon is satisfied that the holder of the licence is not, or is no longer, competent to carry out the operations which the licence authorises;

(c)the holder has failed to comply with—

(i)any condition of the licence granted to him under these Regulations; or

(ii)any condition of a licence previously granted to him by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956; or

(d)the holder has been convicted of an offence under any of the provisions mentioned in paragraph 8(b).

(2) An authorised veterinary surgeon may grant a provisional licence under paragraph 7(1) to any person whose registered licence has been suspended or revoked.

Fees

10.  The Department may charge an applicant for, or a holder of, a certificate of competence or a licence (as the case may be) such reasonable fees as it may determine in respect of—

(a)the assessment of the competence of any person who applies for a certificate of competence;

(b)any assessment of the competence of any person who applies for a modification of his licence; and

(c)the issue and the registration of the licence.

Appeals system

11.—(1) Where the Department or the authorised veterinary surgeon (as the case may be)—

(a)refuses to issue a certificate of competence;

(b)refuses to grant a registered licence;

(c)refuses to modify a registered licence;

(d)refuses to grant a provisional licence;

(e)suspends a registered licence;

(f)revokes a provisional licence; or

(g)revokes a registered licence,

the Department or, as the case may be, the authorised veterinary surgeon shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, give to the applicant or holder of the licence (as the case may be) a notice in writing of the reasons for the refusal, suspension or revocation (hereinafter referred to as “a notice”).

(2) Any person to whom a notice is given shall have a right to make written representations to the Department or to the authorised veterinary surgeon and to be heard by an independent person appointed by the Department.

(3) The notice shall inform the person to whom it is given—

(a)of his right to make representations in writing;

(b)of the manner in which and the time (not being less than 21 days from the giving of the notice) within which such representations may be made;

(c)of his right to be heard; and

(d)of the manner in which and the time (not being less than 21 days from the giving of the notice) within which he may apply for an opportunity to be heard.

(4) In the event of any person to whom the notice is given making any representations (whether orally or in writing) to the Department or to the authorised veterinary surgeon (as the case may be), the Department or the authorised veterinary surgeon shall reconsider his decision to refuse, suspend or revoke in the light of those representations.

(5) In the event of any person to whom the notice is given being heard by the independent person, the Department or the authorised veterinary surgeon shall reconsider his decision to refuse, suspend or revoke in the light of the findings of the independent person.

Savings provisions

12.—(1) Any licence granted by a district council under the Slaughter of Animals Acts (Northern Ireland) 1932 to 1956 that is in force on 29th November 1996 shall remain in force (subject to any conditions attached thereto) until its expiry date.

(2) Regulation 28 shall not have effect in the case of a person holding a licence mentioned in paragraph (1).

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.

Regulations 9(a) and 10(a)

SCHEDULE 3Requirements for Animals Awaiting Slaughter or Killing

Part IIntroductory

Interpretation

1.  In this Schedule “animal” means any soliped, ruminant, pig, rabbit or bird.

Part IIRequirements for all Animals Awaiting Slaughter or Killing

General requirements

2.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals shall ensure that—

(a)every animal is unloaded as soon as possible after its arrival and, if delay in unloading is unavoidable, it is protected from adverse weather conditions and is provided with adequate ventilation;

(b)when unloaded, every animal is protected from adverse weather conditions and is provided with adequate ventilation;

(c)if any animal has been subjected to high temperatures in humid weather, it is cooled by appropriate means;

(d)any animals which might injure each other on account of their species, sex, age or origin or for any other reason are kept and lairaged apart from each other;

(e)pending the slaughter or killing of any sick or disabled animal in the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, it is kept apart from any animal which is not sick or disabled; and

(f)no person drags any animal which has been stunned or killed over any other animal which has not been stunned or killed.

Inspection of animals

3.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard shall ensure that the condition and state of health of every animal is inspected at least every morning and evening by him or by a competent person acting on his behalf.

Slaughter or killing of animals which have experienced pain or suffering and unweaned animals

4.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that—

(a)any animal which has experienced pain or suffering during transport or following its arrival at the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard; and

(b)any animal which is too young to take solid feed;

is slaughtered or killed immediately.

Emergency slaughter and killing

5.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that any animal which is unable to walk is not dragged to its place of slaughter or killing but—

(a)is slaughtered or killed where it lies; or

(b)if it is possible and to do so would not cause any unnecessary pain or suffering, is transported on a trolley or moveable platform to a place of emergency slaughter or killing where it is then immediately slaughtered or killed.

Part IIIAdditional Requirements for Animals Delivered other than in Containers

Treatment of animals delivered other than in containers

6.  In addition to the requirements of Part II, the occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement of animals which are delivered other than in a container shall ensure that—

(a)care is taken not to frighten, excite or mistreat any animal;

(b)no animal is overturned;

(c)if any animal is not slaughtered or killed immediately on arrival at the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, it is lairaged; and

(d)no animal is taken to the place of slaughter or killing unless it can be slaughtered or killed without delay.

The lifting or dragging of animals

7.  No person shall lift or drag, or cause or permit to be lifted or dragged, any animal by the head, horns, ears, feet, tail, fleece or any other part of its body in such a way as to cause it unnecessary pain or suffering.

The driving of animals

8.  No person shall, in any slaughterhouse, knacker’s yard or lairage, lead or drive, or cause or permit to be led or driven, any animal over any ground or floor the nature or condition of which is likely to cause the animal to slip or fall.

Moving animals with care

9.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement of any animals shall ensure that every animal is moved with care and, when necessary, that animals are led individually.

Instruments for guiding animals

10.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the movement of any animal shall ensure that any instrument intended for guiding any animal is used solely for that purpose and only for short periods on individual animals.

Instruments to make animals move

11.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, to make any animal move any instrument which administers an electric shock, except that such an instrument which has been designed for the purpose of making an animal move may be used on adult bovine animals and adult pigs which refuse to move, provided that—

(a)the shocks last no more than two seconds each and are adequately spaced out;

(b)the animal has room ahead of it in which to move; and

(c)such shocks are applied only to the muscles of the hindquarters.

Treatment of animals

12.—(1) No person shall strike, or apply pressure to, any particularly sensitive part of the body of any animal.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraph (1), no person shall crush, twist or break the tail of any animal or grasp the eyes of any animal.

(3) No person shall inflict any blow or kick to any animal.

(4) No person shall cause or permit any animal to be treated in contravention of sub-paragraph (1), (2) or (3).

Lairaging of animals

13.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the lairaging of any animal shall ensure that—

(a)an adequate supply of suitable bedding material is provided for all animals kept in the lairage overnight, unless the lairage has a slatted or mesh floor;

(b)any animal which is kept in a lairage has drinking water available to it from appropriate facilities at all times;

(c)a sufficient quantity of wholesome food is provided for an animal on its arrival at the lairage and twice daily thereafter, except that no animal need be fed within 12 hours of the time at which it is slaughtered or killed;

(d)food is provided in a way which will permit the animals to feed without unnecessary disturbance;

(e)any animal which is lairaged untethered is able to lie down, stand up and turn round without difficulty; and

(f)any animal which is lairaged tethered is able to lie down and stand up without difficulty.

Part IVAdditional Requirements for Animals Delivered in Containers

Handling of animals delivered in containers

14.  In addition to the requirements in Part II, the occupier of a slaughterhouse and any person engaged in the movement of any animal delivered in any container shall ensure that—

(a)any container in which any such animal is transported is handled with care and is not thrown, dropped or knocked over;

(b)where possible, the container is loaded and unloaded horizontally and mechanically;

(c)any animal delivered in a container with a perforated or flexible bottom is unloaded with particular care in order to avoid injury; and

(d)where appropriate, animals are unloaded from the containers individually.

Slaughter or killing of animals delivered in containers

15.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse and any person engaged in the movement or handling of any animal shall ensure that—

(a)any animal which has been transported in a container is slaughtered or killed as soon as possible; and

(b)if slaughter or killing is delayed and if it is necessary—

(i)the animal has drinking water available to it from appropriate facilities at all times; and

(ii)a sufficient quantity of wholesome food is provided for the animal on its arrival at the lairage and twice daily thereafter, except that no animal need be fed within 12 hours of the time at which it is slaughtered or killed.

Part VAdditional Requirements for Birds

Birds awaiting slaughter or killing at place of purchase

16.  The occupier or person in charge of any premises at which birds are offered or exposed for sale prior to being slaughtered or killed there shall ensure that, on arrival at the premises, the birds are forthwith—

(a)placed in accommodation in which they are able, without difficulty, to stand upright, turn round and stretch their wings; and

(b)provided with a sufficient supply of wholesome food and clean drinking water.

Regulations 9(b), 10(b) and 14(a)

SCHEDULE 4Restraint of Animals before Stunning, Slaughter or Killing

1.  In this Schedule “animal” means any soliped, ruminant, pig, rabbit or bird.

2.  No person shall stun, slaughter or kill, or cause or permit to be stunned, slaughtered or killed, any animal without restraining it in an appropriate manner in such a way as to spare it any avoidable pain, suffering, agitation, injury or contusions.

3.  Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 2, no person shall—

(a)in any slaughterhouse, stun, or cause or permit to be stunned, any adult bovine animal, unless at the time it is stunned it is confined in a stunning pen or in a restraining pen which (in either case) is in good working order;

(b)in any knacker’s yard, stun, or cause or permit to be stunned, any adult bovine animal, unless at the time it is stunned it is either confined in a stunning pen which is in good working order or its head is securely fastened in such a position as to enable it to be stunned without the infliction of avoidable excitement, pain or suffering; or

(c)slaughter, or cause or permit to be slaughtered, by a religious method any bovine animal, as defined in paragraph 1(b)(ii) of Schedule 12, which is not stunned, or stunned and pithed, before slaughter unless that animal is restrained in accordance with paragraph 3 of Schedule 12.

4.  No person shall—

(a)place, or cause or permit to be placed, any adult bovine animal in a stunning pen; or

(b)fasten, or cause or permit to be fastened, the head of any adult bovine animal,

unless the person who is to stun the animal is ready to do so as soon as the animal is placed in the stunning pen or its head is fastened.

5.  No person shall tie, or cause or permit to be tied, the legs of any animal.

6.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), no person shall suspend, or cause or permit to be suspended, any animal before stunning or killing.

(2) The prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) shall not apply in the case of birds which may be suspended for stunning or killing provided that—

(a)no bird is suspended in such a manner as to cause it avoidable pain or suffering;

(b)appropriate measures are taken to ensure that, at the point of being stunned or killed, the bird is in a sufficiently relaxed state for stunning or killing to be carried out effectively and without undue delay; and

(c)no bird is suspended for more than 6 minutes in the case of a turkey or 3 minutes in other cases before being stunned or killed.

(3) For the purposes of this paragraph, any animal which is held in a restraint system is not regarded as being suspended.

7.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the stunning or killing of any animal shall ensure that any animal which is to be stunned or killed by mechanical or electrical means applied to the head is presented in such a position that the equipment can be applied and operated easily, accurately and for the appropriate time.

8.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any electrical stunning or killing equipment or any other instrument which applies an electric current to animals—

(a)as a means of restraining any animal;

(b)as a means of immobilising any animal; or

(c)except in accordance with paragraph 11 of Schedule 3, as a means of making any animal move.

9.—(1) No person shall operate, or cause or permit to be operated, any shackle line unless—

(a)each bird suspended from it is kept clear of any object which may cause it avoidable excitement, pain or suffering, including when its wings are outstretched, until it is stunned;

(b)it is possible to relieve any avoidable excitement, pain or suffering which a bird suspended from a shackle appears to be suffering or to remove such a bird from the shackle; and

(c)the speed at which the shackle line is operated is such that any act or operation intended to be performed in relation to, or on, any bird suspended from it can be performed without undue haste and with proper regard for the welfare of the bird.

(2) No person shall, in connection with the slaughter or killing of any bird, use, or cause or permit to be used, any shackle line, machine or other equipment unless—

(a)there is ready access to any such equipment used on live birds and its controls; and

(b)except in an emergency to relieve suffering, it is used in connection with the slaughter or killing of birds of the type, size and weight for which it was designed.

Regulations 9(c), 10(c), 14(b), 15 and 16(b)

SCHEDULE 5Stunning or Killing of Animals other than Animals Reared for Fur

Part IIntroductory

Interpretation

1.  In this Schedule “animal” means any soliped, ruminant, pig, rabbit or bird.

General provision

2.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in the stunning or killing of any animal shall ensure that any instrument, restraining equipment and other equipment, and any installation, which is used for stunning or killing is used in such a way as to facilitate rapid and effecting stunning or killing in accordance with these Regulations.

Part IIStunning

Stunning of animals

3.  No person shall stun, or cause or permit to be stunned, any animal unless it is possible to—

(a)bleed or pith it without delay and in accordance with Schedule 6; or

(b)kill it without delay and in accordance with Part III of this Schedule.

Permitted methods of stunning animals

4.  No person shall stun any animal, or cause or permit any animal to be stunned, except by one of the following methods—

(a)captive bolt;

(b)concussion; or

(c)electronarcosis.

Specific requirements for stunning by use of a captive bolt instrument

5.—(1) No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, a captive bolt instrument to stun any animal unless—

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

(b)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 this Schedule.

6.  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.

Specific requirements for stunning by concussion

7.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), no person shall stun, or cause or permit to be stunned, by concussion any animal except by an instrument which is applied in the proper position and which is used with the correct strength of cartridge or other propellant, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, to produce an effective stun without fracture to the skull by administering a non-penetrative blow to the skull.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) shall not apply to small batches of rabbits, which may be stunned using a non-mechanical blow to the skull provided that the operation is carried out in such a way that the animal is immediately rendered unconscious and remains so until it is dead.

Specific requirements for stunning by electronarcosis — electrodes

8.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, electrodes to stun any animal unless—

(a)the electrodes are so placed that they span the brain, enabling the current to pass through it;

(b)appropriate measures are taken to ensure that there is good electrical contact; and

(c)the strength and duration of the current used is such that the animal is immediately rendered unconscious and remains so until it is dead.

9.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, electrodes to stun any animal individually unless the apparatus—

(a)incorporates a device which—

(i)measures the impedance of the load; and

(ii)prevents operation of the apparatus unless a current can be passed which is sufficient to render an animal of the species being stunned unconscious until it is dead;

(b)incorporates an audible or visible device indicating the length of time of its application to an animal; and

(c)is connected to a device indicating the voltage and the current under load, positioned so as to be clearly visible to the operator.

Specific requirements for stunning by electronarcosis — waterbath stunners

10.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, a water bath stunner to stun any bird unless—

(a)the level of the water in the waterbath has been adjusted in order to ensure that there is good contact with the bird’s head;

(b)the strength and duration of the current used is such that the bird is immediately rendered unconscious and remains so until it is dead;

(c)where poultry are stunned in groups in a waterbath, a voltage sufficient to produce a current strong enough to ensure that every bird is stunned is maintained; and

(d)appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the current passes efficiently, in particular that there are good electrical contacts and the shackle-to-leg contact is kept wet.

11.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any waterbath stunner unless—

(a)it is adequate in size and depth for the type of bird being slaughtered;

(b)it does not overflow at the entrance, or, if an overflow is unavoidable, measures are taken to ensure that no bird receives an electrical shock before it is stunned; and

(c)the electrode which is immersed in the water extends the length of the waterbath.

12.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any waterbath stunner unless a person is available to ascertain whether it has been effective in stunning the birds and who, where it has not been effective, will either stun and slaughter or kill any bird without delay.

Part IIIKilling

Methods of killing animals

13.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any animal except by one of the following methods—

(a)free bullet;

(b)electrocution;

(c)for birds only, decapitation or dislocation of the neck; or

(d)exposure of pigs and birds to gas mixtures in accordance with Schedule 7.

Specific requirements for killing by electrocution

14.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any animal by electrocution 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.

Regulations 9(d) and 14(c)

SCHEDULE 6Bleeding or Pithing of Animals

1.  In this Schedule “animal” means any soliped, ruminant, pig, rabbit or bird.

2.—(1) The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard shall ensure that any animal that has been stunned before bleeding or pithing is bled or pithed without delay after it has been stunned.

(2) Any person engaged in the bleeding or pithing of any animal which has been stunned shall ensure that the animal is bled or pithed without delay after it has been stunned.

(3) No person shall bleed any bull, cow, heifer, steer, calf, sheep, goat or pig in a slaughterhouse, knacker’s yard or lairage within sight of any other such animal.

(4) Sub-paragraph (3) shall not apply in the case of any such animal which is slaughtered or killed in accordance with paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 (which relates to emergency slaughter and killing).

3.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), any person engaged in the bleeding of any animal that has been stunned shall ensure that—

(a)the bleeding is rapid, profuse and complete;

(b)the bleeding is completed before the animal regains consciousness; and

(c)the bleeding is carried out by severing at least one of the carotid arteries or the vessels from which they arise.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), after severance of at least one of the carotid arteries or the vessels from which they arise of any animal that has been stunned before bleeding, no person shall cause or permit any further dressing procedure or any electrical stimulation to be performed on the animal before the bleeding has ended and in any event not before the expiry of—

(a)in the case of a turkey or goose, a period of not less than 2 minutes;

(b)in the case of any other bird, a period of not less than 90 seconds;

(c)in the case of bovine animals, a period of not less than 30 seconds; and

(d)in the case of sheep, goats, pigs and deer, a period of not less than 20 seconds.

(3) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply to any animal which has been pithed.

4.—(1) Where one person is responsible for the stunning and pithing, or for the stunning, shackling, hoisting and bleeding, of animals other than birds or rabbits, or for some of those operations, such operations must be carried out by him consecutively in respect of one animal before being so carried out by him in respect of another animal.

(2) Where one person is responsible for the stunning and bleeding of birds or rabbits, those operations must be carried out by him consecutively in respect of one bird or rabbit before being so carried out by him in respect of another bird or rabbit.

Manual back up of automatic machinery

5.—(1) The occupier of a slaughterhouse shall ensure that no bird is slaughtered by means of automatic neck cutters unless, whenever the neck cutters are operated, a person is present who is able to ascertain whether or not the neck cutters have effectively severed at least one of the carotid arteries or the vessels from which they arise.

(2) In the event of the machinery not being effective in severing at least one of the carotid arteries or the vessels from which they arise, the occupier of the slaughterhouse in which the neck cutters are situated shall ensure that the bird is slaughtered or killed immediately.

Regulation 11

SCHEDULE 7Killing Pigs and Birds by Exposure to Gas Mixtures

Part IGeneral

Scope

1.  This Schedule shall apply only to pigs and birds.

Interpretation

2.  In this Schedule “bird” means any domestic fowl or turkey.

Part IIThe killing of pigs by exposure to carbon dioxide

The killing of pigs by exposure to carbon dioxide

3.—(1) Subject to paragraphs 4 to 6, pigs may be killed at a slaughterhouse by exposure to carbon dioxide gas mixture in a chamber provided for the purpose (hereinafter referred to as “a chamber”).

(2) For the purposes of this Part, a carbon dioxide gas mixture (hereinafter referred to as the “gas mixture”) shall mean at least 70% carbon dioxide by volume in atmospheric air.

Construction of the chamber

4.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used shall ensure that—

(a)the chamber and the equipment used for conveying any pig through the gas mixture are designed, constructed and maintained—

(i)so as to avoid injury to any pig;

(ii)so as to avoid compression of the chest of any pig;

(iii)so as to enable each pig to remain upright until it loses consciousness;

(iv)so as to enable the pigs to see each other as they are conveyed in the chamber; and

(v)so that once a pig enters the chamber, it is conveyed to the point in the chamber of maximum concentration of the gas mixture within a maximum period of 30 seconds;

(b)there is a means of visually monitoring pigs which are in the chamber;

(c)adequate lighting is provided in the conveying mechanism and the chamber to allow pigs to see other pigs or their surroundings;

(d)the installation has an apparatus which maintains the required concentration by volume of carbon dioxide in the gas mixture in the chamber;

(e)the chamber is fitted with devices which—

(i)measure the concentration by volume of carbon dioxide in the gas mixture at the point of maximum exposure;

(ii)when the chamber is in operation, continuously display the concentration by volume of carbon dioxide as a percentage of the gas mixture at the point of maximum concentration in the chamber; and

(iii)give clearly visible and audible warning signals if the concentration by volume of carbon dioxide falls below 70%;

(f)there is a means of flushing the chamber with atmospheric air with the minimum of delay; and

(g)there is a means of access to any pig with the minimum of delay.

The operation of the chamber

5.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used shall ensure that—

(a)each pig is exposed to the gas mixture for long enough to ensure that it is killed;

(b)any such chamber is properly maintained; and

(c)every person engaged in the killing is properly instructed as to—

(i)the method of operation of the chamber;

(ii)the procedures for any necessary flushing of the chamber with atmospheric air; and

(iii)the procedures for any necessary evacuation of pigs from the chamber.

6.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used and any person engaged in the killing of pigs by exposure to carbon dioxide shall ensure that—

(a)no pig enters the chamber if the displayed concentration by volume of carbon dioxide in the gas mixture falls below 70%; and

(b)no pig is passed through or allowed to remain in the chamber at any time when the visible and audible warning signals provided for in paragraph 4(e)(iii) have been activated or when there is any defect in the operation of the chamber.

Part IIIKilling birds by exposure to gas mixtures

The killing of birds by exposure to gas mixtures

7.—(1) Subject to paragraphs 8 to 10, birds may be killed at a slaughterhouse by exposure to an anoxic gas mixture which rapidly renders birds insensible to pain or distress in a chamber provided for the purpose (hereinafter referred to as “a chamber”).

(2) In this Part “gas mixture” means either—

(a)a maximum of 2% total oxygen by volume and 90% argon (or other inert gas) by volume in atmospheric air; or

(b)25% to 30% carbon dioxide by volume and 60% argon (or other inert gas) by volume in atmospheric air.

Construction of the chamber

8.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used shall ensure that—

(a)the chamber and the equipment used for conveying any bird through the gas mixture are designed, constructed and maintained—

(i)so as to avoid injury to any bird; and

(ii)so that once a bird enters into the chamber it is conveyed to the point in the chamber of maximum concentration of the gas mixture within a maximum period of 10 seconds;

(b)the installation has an apparatus which maintains the required concentration by volume of oxygen or carbon dioxide, as appropriate, in the chamber;

(c)the chamber is fitted with devices which—

(i)measure the concentration by volume of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the gas mixture, as appropriate, at the point of maximum concentration;

(ii)when the chamber is in operation, display continuously the concentration by volume of oxygen or carbon dioxide, as appropriate, as a percentage of the total gas mixture at the point of maximum concentration in the chamber; and

(iii)give clearly visible and audible warning signals—

(aa)where the gas mixture used is that mentioned at paragraph 7(2)(a), if the concentration by volume of oxygen rises above 5% for more than 30 seconds; and

(bb)where the gas mixture used is that mentioned at paragraph 7(2)(b), if the concentration by volume of carbon dioxide falls below 25% or rises above 30%;

(d)there is a means of visually monitoring birds which are in the chamber;

(e)there is a means of flushing the chamber with atmospheric air with the minimum delay; and

(f)there is a means of access to any bird in any part of the chamber with the minimum of delay.

The operation of the chamber

9.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used shall ensure that—

(a)the birds are exposed to the gas mixture for long enough to ensure that they are killed;

(b)the chamber is properly maintained; and

(c)every person engaged in the gas killing is properly instructed as to—

(i)the method of operation of the chamber;

(ii)the procedures for any necessary flushing of the chamber with atmospheric air; and

(iii)the procedures for any necessary evacuation of birds from the chamber.

10.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse at which a chamber is used and any person engaged in the killing of birds by exposure to the gas mixture shall ensure that—

(a)any bird which arrives at the installation in a transport crate and which is removed from the crate before it enters the chamber is handled with care and in such a way that the bird is not caused avoidable pain or suffering;

(b)no bird enters the chamber if, as appropriate—

(i)the displayed concentration of oxygen is above 2% by volume, except that the concentration of oxygen may occasionally rise to a concentration of not more than 5% by volume for not more than 30 seconds; or

(ii)the displayed concentration of carbon dioxide is below 25% by volume or above 30% by volume;

(c)no bird is passed through or allowed to remain in the chamber at any time when the visible and audible warning signals provided for in paragraph 8(c)(iii) have been activated or when there is any defect in the operation of the chamber; and

(d)no bird is shackled before it is dead.

Regulation 12

SCHEDULE 8Additional provisions for the Slaughter or Killing of Horses in Slaughterhouses and Knackers' Yards

1.  Subject to paragraph 3, no person shall slaughter or kill, or cause or permit to be slaughtered or killed, any horse in a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard except in a room or a bay which has been provided for the slaughter or killing of horses by the occupier of the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard in accordance with paragraph 2(e) of Schedule 2 (which relates to additional provisions for horses).

2.  Subject to paragraph 3, no person shall slaughter or kill, or cause or permit to be slaughtered or killed, any horse in a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard—

(a)in a room or bay in which there are the remains of a horse or other animal; or

(b)within sight of any other horse.

3.  Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply in the case of a horse slaughtered or killed in accordance with paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 (which relates to emergency slaughter and killing).

Regulation 17

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

Interpretation

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(4).

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;

(b)electrocution;

(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.

Regulation 18

SCHEDULE 10Methods of killing fox and mink

Application

1.  This Schedule shall apply only to the killing of fox and mink which are farmed for their fur.

Killing fox which is farmed for its fur

2.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any fox which is farmed for its fur, except by administering to the fox a lethal injection of a drug which has anaesthetic properties and which causes a rapid loss of consciousness followed by death.

Killing mink which is farmed for its fur

3.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any mink which is farmed for its fur, except by one of the following methods—

(a)a lethal injection of a drug with anaesthetic properties;

(b)exposure to carbon monoxide; or

(c)exposure to carbon dioxide.

Specific requirements for killing mink by a lethal injection of a drug with anaesthetic properties

4.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any mink which is farmed for its fur except by administering to the mink a lethal injection of a drug which has anaesthetic properties and which causes a rapid loss of consciousness followed by death.

Specific requirements for killing mink by exposure to carbon monoxide

5.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any mink by exposure to carbon monoxide unless—

(a)the chamber in which the mink is exposed to the gas is designed, constructed and maintained in such a way as to—

(i)avoid injury to the mink; and

(ii)allow the mink to be supervised;

(b)the mink is introduced into the chamber only after the chamber has been filled with a concentration of carbon monoxide of at least 1% by volume, supplied by a source of 100% carbon monoxide;

(c)gas produced by an engine specially adapted for that purpose is used only if—

(i)the gas used has been suitably cooled and sufficiently filtered and is free from any irritant matter or irritant gas; and

(ii)no mink is placed in the chamber until the concentration of carbon monoxide has reached at least 1% by volume;

(d)the gas induces deep general anaesthesia when inhaled and then causes certain death; and

(e)the mink remains in the chamber until it is dead.

Specific requirements for killing mink by exposure to carbon dioxide

6.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any mink by exposure to carbon dioxide unless—

(a)the chamber in which the mink is exposed to the gas is designed, constructed and maintained in such a way as to—

(i)avoid injury to the mink; and

(ii)allow the mink to be supervised;

(b)the mink is introduced into the chamber only when the atmosphere contains the highest possible concentration of carbon dioxide supplied by a source of 100% carbon dioxide;

(c)the gas induces deep general anaesthesia when inhaled and then causes certain death; and

(d)the mink remains in the chamber until it is dead.

Regulation 19

SCHEDULE 11Killing of surplus chicks and embroys in hatchery waste

Permitted methods of killing surplus chicks

1.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any surplus chick except by one of the following methods—

(a)use of a mechanical apparatus producing immediate death;

(b)exposure to gas mixtures; or

(c)dislocation of the neck.

Specific requirements for killing surplus chicks by use of a mechanical apparatus producing immediate death

2.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any mechanical apparatus to kill any surplus chick unless—

(a)the apparatus contains rapidly rotating mechanically operated killing blades or projections; and

(b)the capacity of the apparatus is sufficient to ensure that every chick is killed immediately.

Specific requirements for killing surplus chicks by exposure to gas mixtures

3.—(1) No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any surplus chick by exposure to a gas mixture unless the chick is placed in the gas mixture and it remains in the gas mixture until it is dead.

(2) In this paragraph “gas mixture” means—

(a)an atmosphere with the highest obtainable concentration of carbon dioxide, supplied by a source of 100% carbon dioxide;

(b)a maximum of 2% oxygen by volume and 90% argon (or other inert gas) by volume in atmospheric air; or

(c)25% to 30% carbon dioxide by volume and 60% argon (or other inert gas) by volume in atmospheric air.

Specific requirements for killing surplus chicks by dislocation of the neck

4.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any surplus chick by dislocation of the neck unless the dislocation is accompanied by the severance of the spinal cord and blood vessels in the chick’s neck.

Permitted method of killing embryos in hatchery waste

5.  No person shall kill, or cause or permit to be killed, any embryo in hatchery waste, except by use of a mechanical apparatus producing immediate death.

Specific requirements for killing embroys in hatchery waste by use of a mechanical apparatus producing immediate death

6.  No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any mechanical apparatus to kill any embryo in hatchery waste unless—

(a)the apparatus contains rapidly rotating mechanically operated killing blades or projections; and

(b)the capacity of the apparatus is sufficient to ensure that every embryo is killed immediately.

Regulations 21 and 22

SCHEDULE 12Additional provisions for Slaughter by a religious method

Part IGeneral

Interpretation

1.  In this Schedule—

(a)“animal” means any sheep, goat or bovine animal;

(b)“bovine animal” means—

(i)in sub-paragraph (a) and paragraph 7(b), any ox, bullock, cow, heifer, steer or calf; and

(ii)elsewhere, any ox, bullock, cow, heifer or steer or any calf which is too large to be restrained manually for slaughter on a cradle or table; and

(c)“bird” means any turkey, domestic fowl, guinea-fowl, duck, goose or quail.

Slaughter by a religious method

2.  In this Schedule references to slaughter by a religious method are references to slaughter without the infliction of unnecessary suffering—

(a)by the Jewish method for the food of Jews by a Jew who holds a licence in accordance with Schedule 1 (which relates to the licensing of slaughtermen) and who is duly licensed by the Rabbinical Commission for the licensing of Shochetim in England and Wales or by the Chief Rabbi in Scotland; or

(b)by the Muslim method for the food of Muslims by a Muslim who holds a licence in accordance with Schedule 1.

Part IIProvisions relating to the slaughter of animals by a religious method

Slaughter of bovine animals by a religious method

3.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), no person shall slaughter, or cause or permit to be slaughtered, any bovine animal in a slaughterhouse by a religious method unless the animal is in an upright position in a restraining pen which has been approved by the Department and which the Department is satisfied has been installed in such a manner as to ensure that it will operate efficiently.

(2) The Department may, for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), give its approval to a restraining pen, but it shall not give any such approval unless it is satisfied that the pen is of such a size and design, and is able to be so operated, as to protect a bovine animal from any avoidable pain, suffering, agitation, injuries or contusions while confined in it or while entering it and, in particular, unless it is satisfied that the pen—

(a)contains an effective means of restraining any bovine animal confined in it (including a suitable head restraint for that purpose); and

(b)contains means of support which will take the weight of the animal during and following slaughter in it.

(3) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply where the bovine animal is stunned, or stunned and pithed, before slaughter, but in such cases any bovine animal shall be restrained before stunning in accordance with paragraph 3(a) of Schedule 4.

Use and maintenance of restraining pens

4.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse in which there is a restraining pen shall ensure that—

(a)the means of restraining and supporting a bovine animal confined in such a pen described in paragraph 3(2)(a) and (b) are used in respect of any bovine animal confined in it;

(b)the pen is kept in good working order; and

(c)if it has been modified after it has been approved by the Department, the pen is not used again until a fresh approval is given by the Department.

Handling of animals during slaughter

5.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse where animals are slaughtered by a religious method and any person engaged in the slaughter of any animal by a religious method shall ensure that—

(a)no bovine animal is placed in a restraining pen unless the person who is to carry out the slaughter is ready to make the incision immediately the bovine animal is placed in the pen;

(b)no animal is shackled or hoisted until the appropriate period referred to in paragraph 7 has elapsed and unless the animal is unconscious;

(c)any sheep or goat, or any calf which is small enough to be restrained manually on a cradle or table, is slaughtered only on a cradle or table and that only one such animal is placed on the cradle or table at any one time; and

(d)where the slaughter is carried out in a slaughterhouse, a captive bolt instrument is kept close to the restraining pen, cradle or table for use in case of emergency and is immediately used where the animal is subjected to any avoidable pain, suffering or agitation or has any injuries or contusions.

Method of slaughter

6.  Any person who slaughters by a religious method any animal which has not been stunned before bleeding shall—

(a)before each animal is slaughtered, inspect the knife to be used and ensure that it is not used unless it is undamaged and of sufficient size and sharpness to be capable of being used to slaughter the animal in the manner described in sub-paragraph (b); and

(b)ensure that each animal is slaughtered by the severance, by rapid uninterrupted movements of a knife, of both its carotid arteries and both its jugular veins.

Handling animals after slaughter by a religious method

7.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse in which animals are slaughtered by a religious method and any person engaged in the slaughter by a religious method of any animal shall ensure that where the animal has not been stunned, or stunned and pithed, before bleeding it is not moved until it is unconscious and in any event not before the expiry of—

(a)in the case of any sheep or any goat, a period of not less than 20 seconds; and

(b)in the case of any bovine animal, a period of not less than 30 seconds,

after it has been slaughtered in the manner described in paragraph 6.

Slaughter by a religious method elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse

8.  No person shall slaughter any animal by a religious method, or cause or permit any animal to be so slaughtered, elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse unless the slaughter is carried out in the presence of an authorised person.

Part IIIProvisions relating to the slaughter of birds by a religious method

Slaughter of birds by a religious method

9.  Any person who slaughters by a religious method any bird which has not been stunned before slaughter shall ensure that—

(a)each bird is slaughtered by the severance, by rapid uninterrupted movements of a knife, of its carotid arteries; and

(b)the knife to be used for the slaughtering of the birds is undamaged and of sufficient size and sharpness to enable each bird to be slaughtered in the manner described in sub-paragraph (a).

Handling birds after slaughter by a religious method

10.  The occupier of a slaughterhouse in which birds are slaughtered by a religious method and any person engaged in the slaughter of any bird by a religious method shall ensure that, where the bird has not been stunned before bleeding, no further dressing procedure or any electrical stimulation is performed on the bird before it is unconscious and in any event not before the expiry of—

(a)in the case of a turkey or goose, a period of not less than 2 minutes; and

(b)in the case of any other bird, a period of not less than 90 seconds, after it has been slaughtered in the manner described in paragraph 9.

Regulation 29

SCHEDULE 13Repeals

Column 1Column 2Column 3
Chapter or NumberShort titleExtent of repeal
1932 c. 9 (N.I.)The Slaughter of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1932Sections 1, 2, 4 to 6 and 8, in section 3 the words “in accordance with the provisions of this Act” and in section 9, the definitions of “Knacker’s yard” and “Mechanically-operated”.
1952 c. 12 (N.I.)The Protection of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1952Section 9.
1956 c. 12 (N.I.)The Slaughter of Animals (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1956The whole Act.
S.I. 1981/1115 (N.I. 22)Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981Paragraph 1 of Schedule 5. In Schedule 7 the entry relating to the Slaughter of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1932.
S.I. 1984/702 (N.I. 2)The Agriculture (Miscellane- ous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1984Article 5.

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