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Slaughtering processes

The enforcement of current legislation also needs to be improved. Often member states allocate very few staff to enforcement with the result that inspections of animal welfare are rare. The Commission can also conduct inspections through its Food and Veterinary Office. Official reports have highlighted problems in various member states. Investigations by animal welfare groups have exposed some serious problems in individual slaughterhouses.

Proper training and certification of slaughterhouse staff would help to minimise the pain and stress experienced by animals, but there is currently no legal requirement for staff to be trained. There is also no requirement for a designated member of staff who carries the responsibility for dealing with animal welfare issues.

New technologies should be examined before slaughterhouses are allowed to use them. One example of a technology that severely affects the wellfare of animals is live-shackling. It involves hanging birds upside down in a shackle and is by far the main method used by industry. Currently poultry are shackled on automated lines whenever electrical waterbaths are used for stunning. Shackling puts pressure on the birds' periosteum, a very sensitive tissue. This causes the birds to suffer stress, pain and injuries.

Hundreds of millions of unwanted male animals are routinely slaughtered by the egg and dairy industries. These slaughtering processes are not currently regulated and the issue has not been addressed in the new proposal. Following a discussion at its meeting held in July 2008, the Intergroup has pledged to support efforts to promote research designed to reduce the number of unwanted male offspring and help to promote viable rearing of male calves.

Quelle zit.: European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, Current Issues. Last updated: 30 March 2009

 

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