EFSA Report – Pigs at slaughter: measures to address welfare concerns

One of the main conclusions of EFSA’s latest advice on welfare of animals during the slaughter process is that most of the hazards related to welfare of pigs at slaughter are due to inadequate staff skills and poorly designed and constructed facilities.

The report covers the slaughter process from arrival and unloading of pigs through stunning to bleeding and killing. It identifies a number of hazards that give rise to welfare issues – such as heat stress, thirst, prolonged hunger and respiratory distress – and proposes preventive and corrective measures where possible.

The scientific opinion proposes measures to address the welfare hazards most commonly associated with the slaughter of pigs for food production.

Marta Hugas, EFSA’s Chief Scientist, said:

“As part of its new Farm to Fork strategy, the European Commission is reviewing current provisions on animal welfare, with the aim of creating a more sustainable food system in the EU. This series of opinions, plus others that we will deliver in the next few years, will provide the scientific basis for that review.

Having high standards of animal welfare improves animal health and food quality, reduces the need for medication and can help preserve biodiversity. Healthy, well looked-after animals are essential to a healthy food chain.”

The findings are available at this link