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The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Regulation 25

SCHEDULE 1ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SLAUGHTERHOUSES

This schedule has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

PART 1Introductory

Interpretation

1.  In this Schedule, “animal” means solipeds, ruminants, pigs, rabbits, poultry or ratites.

Scope

2.  This Schedule applies to the killing of animals in a slaughterhouse.

PART 2Layout, construction and equipment of slaughterhouses

General requirements

3.  The business operator must ensure that—

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

(b)there are no sharp edges or protrusions with which an animal may come into contact;

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

(d)any instrument, restraining equipment, other equipment or installation which is used for stunning or killing is designed, constructed and maintained so as to facilitate rapid and effective stunning or killing; and

(e)any defect found in back-up stunning or killing equipment is rectified forthwith.

Animals delivered other than in containers

4.  The business operator must ensure that—

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

(b)exit and entry ramps have the minimum possible incline.

Lairages other than field lairages

5.  The business operator must ensure that—

(a)a sufficient number of pens is provided at the slaughterhouse for adequate lairaging of the animals with protection from the effects of adverse weather conditions; and

(b)a lairage has—

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

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

Field lairages

6.  The business operator must ensure that a field lairage—

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

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

Shackle lines

7.  The business operator must ensure that there is ready access to any shackle line or processing equipment used for live poultry and to any controls of such equipment.

Stunning pens

8.  The business operator must ensure that a stunning pen used to restrain adult bovine animals for the purpose of stunning is constructed so as to—

(a)permit one animal at a time to be confined in it without discomfort;

(b)prevent any substantial movement forwards, backwards or sideways of an animal confined in it;

(c)restrict the movement of the head of an animal confined in it so as to permit accurate stunning and allow the head of an animal to be released immediately after the animal has been stunned; and

(d)allow unimpeded access to the forehead of an animal confined in it.

Facilities for horses

9.  Where a slaughterhouse is one in which horses are killed, the business operator must ensure that—

(a)a separate room or bay is provided for the killing of horses; and

(b)a lairage in which a horse is confined, must contain at least one loose box which is so constructed as to minimise the danger of a horse injuring itself or any other animal confined in that lairage.

PART 3Handling operations

General requirements

10.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals must ensure that—

(a)every animal is protected from adverse weather conditions and is provided with adequate ventilation;

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

(c)pending the killing of a sick or disabled animal, it is kept apart from any animal which is not sick or disabled; and

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

Inspection of animals

11.  The business operator must ensure that the condition and state of health of every animal is inspected at least every morning and evening by the business operator or by a competent person acting on the business operator’s behalf.

Animals which have experienced pain or suffering and unweaned animals

12.  Without prejudice to paragraph 1.5 and 1.11 of Annex III, the business operator and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals must ensure that the following animals are killed immediately—

(a)animals which have experienced pain or suffering during transport or following arrival; and

(b)animals which are too young to take solid feed.

Animals delivered other than in containers

13.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals which are delivered other than in a container must ensure that—

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

(b)no animal is overturned; and

(c)no animal is taken to the place of killing unless it can be killed without delay.

The driving of animals

14.  No person may lead or drive an animal over ground or floor, the nature or condition of which is likely to cause the animal to slip or fall.

Moving animals with care

15.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement of animals must ensure that every animal is moved with care and, when necessary, that animals are led individually.

Instruments for guiding animals

16.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement of animals must ensure that any instrument intended for guiding an animal is used solely for that purpose and only for short periods on individual animals.

Lairaging of animals

17.  The business operator and any person engaged in the lairaging of animals must ensure that food is provided in a way which will permit the animals to feed without unnecessary disturbance.

PART 4Restraining operations

General requirement

18.  No person may stun or kill an animal without restraining it in an appropriate manner.

Restraining bovine animals

19.  Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 18, no person may stun or kill an adult bovine animal unless at the time it is stunned or killed it is confined in a stunning pen or in a restraining pen which (in either case) is in good working order.

Suspending poultry

20.  The prohibition in Article 15(3)(a) (suspending or hoisting conscious animals) does not apply in the case of poultry which may be suspended for stunning or killing provided that appropriate measures are taken to ensure that, at the point of being stunned or killed, the poultry are in a sufficiently relaxed state for stunning or killing to be carried out effectively and without undue delay.

Shackle lines

21.—(1) No person may operate a shackle line unless—

(a)it is possible to relieve any avoidable pain, distress or suffering which poultry suspended from shackles appear to be suffering or to remove poultry from the shackles; and

(b)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, poultry suspended from it can be performed without undue haste and with proper regard for the welfare of the poultry.

(2) No person may, in connection with the stunning or killing of poultry, use a shackle line, machine or other equipment unless it is used in connection with the stunning or killing of poultry of the type, size and weight for which it was designed, save in an emergency where it is used to relieve suffering.

Restraining operations

22.  The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning or killing of an animal must ensure that an 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.

PART 5Stunning and killing operations

General requirements

23.—(1) The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning or killing of an animal must ensure that any instrument, restraining equipment, installation or other equipment which is used for stunning or killing is used in such a way as to facilitate rapid and effective stunning or killing.

(2) In the case of simple stunning, no person may stun an animal unless it is possible to kill it without delay.

Penetrative captive bolt

24.—(1) No person may use a penetrative captive bolt device to stun an animal unless—

(a)subject to sub-paragraph (3), the device is positioned and applied so as to ensure that the bolt 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 may shoot a bovine animal in the back of the head.

(3) No person may shoot a sheep or goat in the back of the head, unless the presence of horns prevents use of the top or the front of the 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 by another procedure within 15 seconds of shooting.

(4) A person who uses a captive bolt device must check that the bolt is retracted to its full extent after each shot and if it is not so retracted must ensure that the device is not used again until it has been repaired.

Non-penetrative captive bolt

25.  No person may stun an animal using a non-penetrative captive bolt 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.

Percussive blow to the head

26.—(1) No person may stun an animal using a non-mechanical percussive blow to the head.

(2) But the prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to rabbits, provided that the operation is carried out in such a way that the rabbit is immediately rendered unconscious and remains so until it is dead.

Electrical stunning other than by waterbath

27.  No person may use electrodes to stun an animal unless—

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

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

Electrical stunning by waterbath

28.  No person may use a waterbath stunner to stun poultry unless—

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

(b)the strength and duration of the current used is such that the poultry are immediately rendered unconscious and remain so until 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;

(d)appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the current passes efficiently, in particular that there are good electrical contacts;

(e)the waterbath stunner is adequate in size and depth for the type of poultry being stunned; and

(f)a person is available to ascertain whether the waterbath stunner has been effective in stunning the poultry and, if it has not been effective, will either stun or kill the poultry without delay.

Exposure to gas – pigs

29.—(1) No person may stun pigs by exposure to gas unless each pig is exposed to the gas for long enough to ensure it is killed.

(2) The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning of pigs by exposure to gas must ensure that—

(a)the gas stunner, including any equipment used for conveying a pig through the gas mixture, is designed, constructed and maintained so as to—

(i)avoid compression of the chest of a pig;

(ii)enable a pig to remain upright until it loses consciousness; and

(iii)enable a pig to see other pigs as it is conveyed in the gas stunner;

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

(c)the gas stunner is equipped to maintain the gas concentration, as appropriate, in the gas stunner (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I);

(d)there is a means of visually monitoring pigs which are in the gas stunner;

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

(f)there is a means of access to any pig with the minimum of delay; and

(g)no pig is passed through or allowed to remain in the gas stunner at any time when the visible and audible warning signals have been activated or when there is any defect in the operation of the gas stunner.

(3) The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning of pigs by direct exposure to gas mixture 1 (“carbon dioxide at high concentration”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I must ensure that—

(a)no pig enters the gas stunner if the displayed concentration by volume of carbon dioxide in the gas mixture falls below 80%; and

(b)once a pig enters the gas stunner it is conveyed to the point in the gas stunner of maximum concentration of the gas mixture within a maximum period of 30 seconds.

Exposure to gas – poultry

30.—(1) No person may stun poultry by exposure to gas unless each bird is exposed to the gas for long enough to ensure it is killed.

(2) No person may stun poultry by exposure to—

(a)gas mixture 3 (“carbon dioxide associated with inert gases”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I unless the carbon dioxide concentration is 30% by volume or less and the oxygen concentration is 2% by volume or less; or

(b)gas mixture 4 (“inert gases”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I unless the oxygen concentration is 2% by volume or less.

(3) The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning of poultry by exposure to gas must ensure that—

(a)the gas stunner is equipped to maintain the gas concentration, as appropriate, in the gas stunner (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I and this Schedule);

(b)there is a means of visually monitoring poultry which are in the gas stunner;

(c)there is a means of flushing the gas stunner with atmospheric air with the minimum of delay;

(d)there is a means of access to any poultry with the minimum of delay;

(e)no poultry are passed through or allowed to remain in the gas stunner at any time when the visible and audible warning signals have been activated or when there is any defect in the operation of the gas stunner; and

(f)no poultry are shackled before they are dead.

(4) The business operator and any person engaged in the stunning of poultry by exposure to gas mixture 3 (“carbon dioxide associated with inert gases”) or gas mixture 4 (“inert gases”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I must ensure that no bird enters the gas stunner if, as appropriate—

(a)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

(b)the displayed concentration of carbon dioxide is above 30% by volume.

Bleeding or pithing

31.—(1) A person engaged in the bleeding or pithing of an animal which has been simple stunned must ensure that the animal is bled or pithed without delay after it has been simple stunned.

(2) A person engaged in the bleeding of an animal which has been simple stunned must ensure that the bleeding is—

(a)rapid, profuse and complete; and

(b)completed before the animal regains consciousness.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 3.2 of Annex III, if an animal is bled after simple stunning, no person may 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; or

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

(4) Sub-paragraph (3) does not apply to an animal which has been pithed.

Horses

32.  No person may kill a horse—

(a)except in a room or bay which has been provided for the killing of horses in accordance with paragraph 9(a);

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

(c)within sight of any other horse.

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