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The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

PART 2SHEEP, GOATS AND BOVINE ANIMALS

Restraint of bovine animals

3.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), no person may slaughter a bovine animal in a slaughterhouse in accordance with religious rites without prior stunning unless the animal is individually restrained in an upright position in a restraining facility for non-stun slaughter which has been approved in writing by the competent authority and which the competent authority is satisfied has been installed in such a manner as to ensure that it will operate efficiently.

(2) Approval may not be granted by the competent authority under sub-paragraph (1) unless the competent authority is satisfied that the restraining facility for non-stun slaughter is of such a size and design, and is able to be operated, so as to protect a bovine animal from avoidable pain, suffering, agitation, injuries or contusions while confined in it or while entering it and, in particular, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the restraining facility for non-stun slaughter—

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

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

(c)permits one bovine animal at a time to be confined in it without discomfort; and

(d)prevents any substantial movement of a bovine animal forwards, backwards or sideways once it has been placed in position for slaughter.

(3) A restraining pen approved under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12 to the 1996 Regulations will, on the coming into operation of these Regulations, become an approved restraining facility for non-stun slaughter for the purposes of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2).

Use and maintenance of restraining facilities for non-stun slaughter

4.  The business operator shall ensure that—

(a)the means of restraining and supporting a bovine animal confined in a restraining facility for non-stun slaughter described in paragraph 3(2) (a) and (b) is used in respect of any bovine animal confined in it;

(b)the restraining facility for non-stun slaughter is kept in good working order; and

(c)if it has been modified after it has been approved by the competent authority, the restraining facility for non-stun slaughter is not used again until a new approval is given by the competent authority.

Method of slaughter

5.  Any person who slaughters a sheep, goat or bovine animal in accordance with religious rites without prior stunning shall—

(a)ensure it is slaughtered by the severance of both its carotid arteries and jugular veins by rapid, uninterrupted movements of a hand-held knife; and

(b)before its slaughter, inspect the knife to be used for slaughter to ensure it is—

(i)undamaged; and

(ii)of sufficient size and sharpness to slaughter the sheep, goat or bovine animal in the manner described in sub-paragraph (a).

Handling of sheep, goats and bovine animals during slaughter

6.—(1) The business operator and any person engaged in the killing of a sheep, goat or bovine animal in accordance with religious rites without prior stunning shall ensure that—

(a)it is not placed in restraining equipment unless the person who is to carry out the slaughter is ready to make the incision immediately after it is placed in the equipment; and

(b)appropriate back-up stunning equipment is kept close to the restraining equipment 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.

(2) The business operator and any person engaged in the slaughter of a sheep, goat or bovine animal in accordance with religious rites without prior stunning must ensure that where it has not been stunned before bleeding, it is not shackled, hoisted or moved in any way until it is unconscious and in any event not before the expiry of—

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

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

after it has been bled in the manner described in paragraph 5.

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