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The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995

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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) above and paragraph 7(b) below, 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—

(i)in England and Wales by the Rabbinical Commission referred to in Part IV of this Schedule; or

(ii)in Scotland by the Chief Rabbi; 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) below, 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 Minister and which the Minister is satisfied has been installed in such a manner as to ensure that it will operate efficiently.

(2) The Minister may, for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) above, give his approval to a restraining pen, but he shall not give any such approval unless he 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 he 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) above 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) above 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 Minister, the pen is not used again until a fresh approval is given by the Minister.

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 below 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) below; 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 above.

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 and 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) above.

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 above.

PART IVTHE RABBINICAL COMMISSION FOR THE LICENSING OF SHOCHETIM

Membership

11.  The Rabbinical Commission for the licensing of Shochetim (in this Part referred to as “the Commission”) shall consist of a permanent chairman and nine other members.

12.  The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth shall, by virtue of his office, be the permanent chairman of the Commission.

13.  Of the members of the Commission other than the permanent chairman—

(a)one, who shall be a vice-chairman, shall be appointed by the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (London);

(b)three shall be appointed by the Beth Din appointed by the United Synagogue (London);

(c)two shall be appointed by the Federation of Synagogues (London);

(d)one shall be appointed by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (London); and

(e)two shall be appointed by the president for the time being of the London committee of deputies of British Jews to represent provincial congregations.

Supplementary provisions

14.  The functions of the Commission shall be exercisable notwithstanding any vacancy amongst the members thereof.

15.  The quorum of the Commission shall be four.

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