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

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Regulation 26

SCHEDULE 2ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR KILLING ANIMALS OTHER THAN IN 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.—(1) This Schedule applies to—

(a)the killing of animals in a knacker’s yard;

(b)the killing of poultry or rabbits on the farm for the purpose of directly supplying small quantities of meat by the producer to the final consumer or to local retail establishments supplying such meat directly to the final consumer as fresh meat in accordance with Article 11; and

(c)the killing of animals other than in a slaughterhouse or in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

(2) But in the case of animals killed in the circumstances mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(c)—

(a)Parts 2 and 3 do not apply; and

(b)Part 4 does not apply unless the animal is killed by bleeding.

Exemptions

3.—(1) Nothing in this Schedule applies to—

(a)the killing of an animal in a slaughterhouse;

(b)the killing of an animal for the purpose of disease control unless it is stunned by penetrative captive bolt or electrocution in which case it must be stunned in accordance with paragraphs 34, 37 or 38 of Part 5 (as the case may be);

(c)the killing of a pig, sheep or goat by its owner for the owner’s private domestic consumption unless it is killed by bleeding in which case it must be stunned and bled in accordance with Part 5; or

(d)the killing of surplus chicks which are less than 72 hours old or embryos in hatchery waste provided that paragraph 44 is complied with.

(2) In this paragraph, “disease control” means the control by the competent authority of any disease which is notifiable by or under the provisions of the Animal Health Act 1981(1) or in pursuance of any EU obligation.

PART 2Layout, construction and equipment of premises

General requirements

4.  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

5.  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;

(b)bridges, ramps and gangways are fitted with sides, railings or some other means of protection to prevent animals falling off them;

(c)exit and entry ramps have the minimum possible incline; and

(d)all passageways are constructed to minimise the risk of injury to an animal and arranged to take account of the gregarious tendencies of the animals which use them.

Lairages other than field lairages

6.  The business operator must ensure that—

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

(b)a lairage has—

(i)a floor which minimises the risk of slipping and which does not cause injury to an 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 an animal, taking into account the extremes of temperature and humidity which may be expected;

(iii)where 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) to enable 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 constructed and placed so that they are easily accessible to all the animals, can readily be filled and cannot readily be fouled.

Field lairages

7.  The business operator must ensure that a 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 constructed and placed so that they are easily accessible to all the animals, can readily be filled and cannot readily be fouled.

Shackle lines

8.  The business operator must ensure that—

(a)any shackle line is designed and positioned in such a way that poultry suspended on it are kept clear of any obstruction and 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 poultry may, if necessary, receive attention; and

(c)there is ready access to any shackle line or processing equipment used for live poultry and to any controls of such equipment.

Stunning pens

9.  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

10.  Where a knacker’s yard 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 any horse injuring itself or any other animal confined in that lairage.

PART 3Handling operations

General requirements

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

(a)every animal is unloaded as soon as possible after its arrival;

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

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

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

(e)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

12.  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

13.  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.

Emergency killing

14.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement or lairaging of animals must ensure that an animal which is unable to walk is not dragged to its place of killing but—

(a)is 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 movable platform to a place of emergency killing where it is then immediately killed.

Animals delivered other than in containers

15.  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;

(c)if an animal is not killed immediately on arrival, it is lairaged; and

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

The lifting or dragging of animals

16.  No person may lift or drag an 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

17.  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

18.  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 to guide animals

19.  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.

Instruments to make animals move

20.  No person may use an instrument which administers an electric shock to make an animal move, 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 use of such an instrument is avoided as far as possible;

(b)the shocks last no more than one second each, are adequately spaced out and are not used repeatedly if the animal fails to respond;

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

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

Treatment of animals

21.  No person may—

(a)strike, or apply pressure to, any particularly sensitive part of the body of an animal;

(b)crush, twist or break the tail of an animal or grasp the eyes of an animal; or

(c)inflict any blow or kick to an animal.

Lairaging of animals

22.  The business operator and any person engaged in the lairaging of an animal must 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)an 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 killed;

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

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

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

Handling of animals delivered in containers

23.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement of animals delivered in containers must ensure that—

(a)any container in which an 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 containers individually.

Killing of animals delivered in containers

24.  The business operator and any person engaged in the movement or handling of animals delivered in containers must ensure that—

(a)animals which have been transported in containers are killed as soon as possible; and

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

(i)the animals have drinking water available to them from appropriate facilities at all times; and

(ii)a sufficient quantity of wholesome food is provided for the animals on 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 killed.

Poultry awaiting killing at place of purchase

25.  The business operator or person in charge of any premises at which poultry are offered or exposed for sale prior to being killed there must ensure that, on arrival at the premises, the poultry are without delay—

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

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

PART 4Restraining operations

General requirement

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

Restraining bovine animals

27.  Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 26, no person may stun an adult bovine animal in a knacker’s yard unless at the time it is stunned—

(a)it is confined in a stunning pen which is in good working order; or

(b)its head is securely fastened in such a position so as to enable it to be stunned without infliction of avoidable pain, distress or suffering.

Electric currents

28.  No person may use electrical stunning or killing equipment or any other instrument which applies an electric current to an animal—

(a)as a means of restraining an animal;

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

(c)except in accordance with paragraph 20 of this Schedule, as a means of making an animal move.

Tying legs

29.  No person may tie the legs of an animal.

Suspending animals

30.—(1) No person may suspend an animal before stunning or killing.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply in the case of poultry which may be suspended for stunning or killing provided that—

(a)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; and

(b)no poultry are suspended for more than 3 minutes in the case of a turkey or 2 minutes in other cases before being stunned or killed.

Shackle lines

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

(a)poultry suspended from it are kept clear of any object which may cause avoidable pain, distress or suffering, including when their wings are outstretched, until they are stunned;

(b)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

(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, 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

32.  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

33.—(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

34.—(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

35.  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

36.—(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

37.—(1) 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.

(2) No person may use electrodes to stun an animal individually unless the apparatus—

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

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

Electrical stunning by waterbath

38.  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;

(f)the waterbath stunner does not overflow at the entrance, or, if an overflow is unavoidable, measures are taken to ensure that no poultry receive an electric shock before they are stunned;

(g)the electrode which is immersed in the water extends the length of the waterbath; and

(h)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 – prohibition

39.—(1) No person may stun an animal outside a slaughterhouse by exposure to gas.

(2) But the prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to the stunning of—

(a)pigs in a knacker’s yard, or

(b)poultry,

provided that pigs or poultry are stunned in accordance with paragraphs 40 or 41, as appropriate.

Exposure to gas – pigs

40.—(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) No person may stun pigs by exposure to gas mixture 5 (“carbon monoxide pure source”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I.

(3) 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 injury to a pig;

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

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

(iv)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;

(g)the gas stunner is equipped with devices to—

(i)measure and continuously display the gas concentration, as appropriate, in the gas stunner (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I); and

(ii)give clearly visible and audible warning signals if the gas concentration falls below the required level (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I); and

(h)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.

(4) 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

41.—(1) No person may stun poultry by exposure to gas unless—

(a)each bird is exposed to the gas for long enough to ensure it is killed; and

(b)in the case of stunning poultry in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 2(1)(c) of this Schedule—

(i)stunning takes place on the premises where the poultry have been kept for the production of meat, eggs or other products; and

(ii)the owner of the poultry gives prior written notice to the competent authority, not less than five working days before the date on which the stunning takes place.

(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 20% by volume or less and the oxygen concentration is 5% by volume or less;

(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; or

(c)gas mixture 5 (“carbon monoxide pure source”) in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I.

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

(a)the gas stunner, including any equipment used for conveying poultry through the gas, is designed, constructed and maintained so as to avoid injury to a bird;

(b)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);

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

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

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

(f)the gas stunner is equipped with devices to—

(i)measure and continuously display the gas concentration, as appropriate, in the gas stunner (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I); and

(ii)give clearly visible and audible warning signals if the gas concentration falls below the required level (in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex I);

(g)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;

(h)poultry which arrive at the gas stunner in a transport crate and which are removed from the crate before entering the gas stunner are handled with care in a way that does not cause avoidable pain, distress or suffering; and

(i)after exposure to the gas nothing more is done to a bird until it is ascertained as dead.

(4) No person may operate a gas stunner consisting of a poultry shed or other building previously sealed to stun poultry by exposure to gas except under the direct supervision of a veterinary surgeon.

(5) In sub-paragraph (4), “poultry shed” means a building designed and constructed to house poultry that has been previously sealed so as to be capable of containing the gas mixtures in Table 3 of Chapter I of Annex 1.

Bleeding or pithing

42.—(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;

(b)completed before the animal regains consciousness; and

(c)carried out by severing the two carotid arteries or the vessels from which they arise.

(3) 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.

(5) Where one person is responsible for the simple stunning and pithing, or for the simple 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 that person consecutively in respect of one animal before being so carried out by that person in respect of another animal.

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

Horses

43.  No person may kill a horse in a knacker’s yard—

(a)except in a room or bay provided for that purpose in accordance with paragraph 10(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.

Surplus chicks in hatchery waste

44.—(1) No person may kill surplus chicks which are less than 72 hours old in hatchery waste except by one of the following methods—

(a)maceration in accordance with Table 1 of Chapter I and Chapter II of Annex I;

(b)exposure to a gas mixture in accordance with Table 3 of Chapter I and Chapter II of Annex I and this paragraph; or

(c)where there is no other method available for killing, cervical dislocation in accordance with Table 1 of Chapter I and Chapter II of Annex I.

(2) No person may kill surplus chicks which are less than 72 hours old in hatchery waste by exposure to a gas mixture unless the chicks are placed in the gas mixture and remain in the gas mixture until dead.

(3) The killing of surplus chicks which are less than 72 hours old in hatchery waste must be as rapid as possible.

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