This dossier aims to help Competent Authorities and other stakeholders with issues related to welfare of pigs arriving, being handled and in lairage of slaughterhouses. The dossier is updated periodically by the EURCAW-Pigs team. The text is meant to support Competent Authorities, and is not legally binding.
Council Regulations (EC) No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, and 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport, regulate the legal requirements related to arrival and lairage management. In EURCAW-Pigs' Thematic factsheet on arrival and lairage management at pig slaughterhouses, the relevant legal requirements are summarized and presented in conjunction with the three focus areas for inspections.
By understanding behavioural and physiological needs of pigs, inspectors and business operators can differentiate between ‘normal coping behaviour’ of pigs in slaughterhouses, or behaviour that indicates prevalence of animal welfare issues. Concerning animal-human interactions, e.g., pigs should be handled as sentient beings, thus respecting their behavioural needs and the stress they are coping with on the day of slaughter. The layout and construction of lairage should encourage pigs to move freely within lairage passageways and races to the stunning area.
For three key areas to focus on during inspections, welfare indicators are suggested to identify and manage animal welfare problems, and support the evaluation of compliance with the legal frameworks of Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 and 1/2005 that regulate the legal requirements related to arrival and lairage management. Each indicator is described in an indicator factsheet, by suggesting an inspection and scoring method, and summarizing the underlying welfare concern and legal requirements.
In collaboration with national training bodies and national reference centers on animal welfare, EURCAW-Pigs develops training guides for the different welfare topics as standards for national training in EU Member States.
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