Brochure 24102012 en

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  • 1. The Animal Welfare ocerin the European Union

2. 21. INTRODUCTIONThe new animal welfare EU regulation applicable to slaugh-terhouses (Regulation 1099/2009) requires that slaugh-terhouse operators appoint a qualied person, the animalwelfare ocer, to ensure that standard operating proce-dures are implemented in order that animal welfare rulesare properly understood and applied.However, the appointment of an animal welfare ocer is notcompulsory for small slaughterhouses (see page 25). 3. 3While the overall legal responsibility for complying with EUrules falls on the slaughterhouse operator, the animal wel-fare ocer is the technical responsible for translating thisobligation into practice.The animal welfare ocer is hence a key person for ensuringthat all operations in slaughterhouses meet European Unionrules for animal welfare.Their responsibilities are clearly set out in EU law1 and tocarry them out, animal welfare ocers must be specicallyqualied and formally appointed. 1 particularly in article 17 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009of 24 September 2009 on the of animals at the killing(Ocial Journal of the European Union L 303/1 18.11.2009 4. 4This handbook provides a step-by-step guide to the tasks ofthe animal welfare ocer in the European Union.2. AN OVERVIEW OF THE PERSON AND TASKSThe competent authorities are responsible for ocial con-trols on the implementation of animal welfare rules by busi-ness operators in slaughterhouses.Overall, the animal welfare ocer works, on behalf of theslaughterhouse operator, as the contact point for the com-petent authorities, provides guidance to the personnel 5. 5working on a slaughter line and checks that the guidance isput into practice.While his or her role is mainly operational, the animal wel-fare ocer is also the best placed to advise the slaughter-house operator in relation to investments for renovation andnew equipment. Some EU rules on the layout, constructionand equipment are not immediately applicable for existingslaughterhouses but will apply from December 2019, andtherefore the necessary preparations should already bemade so that the slaughterhouse is compliant by that date.This requires expertise. And it requires the development ofStandard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the slaughter-house for which he or she is responsible. The animal wel-fare ocer must also ensure that these SOPs are eectivelycomplied with, and must maintain an accurate record ofactions taken.The animal welfare ocer must have su cient authorityand technical competence, including detailed knowledge ofthe relevant EU rules, to provide guidance to slaughter line-personnel (see page 6). 6. 6Some SOPs are explicitly required by the legislation. These relate to key stunning parameters (see page 9); checking of the effect of stunning (see page 16); maintaining and using restraining and stunning equipment (see page 20).Other SOPs are necessary for ensuring compliance (seepage 21).The animal welfare ocer must ensure that the SOPs are knownand understood by the relevant personnel (see page 23).And the animal welfare ocer must keep records of actions heor she takes, in discharging his or her responsibilities for ensur-ing that SOPs are in place and are followed (see page 24).3. THE QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ANIMAL WELFARE OFFICERThe animal welfare ocer should have su cient authorityand technical competence to provide relevant guidance toslaughter line personnel.The animal welfare ocer must be in possession of a certi-cate of competence for all the operations taking place in theslaughterhouse for which he or she is responsible. 7. 7Certificates of competence are issued by the authorities of the MemberStates, and based on passing of independent examinations on subjectsrelevant for the categories of animals concerned and corresponding tothe operations involved. The operations may include: the handling and care of animals before they are restrained; the restraint of animals for the purpose of stunning or killing; the stunning of animals; the assessment of effective stunning; the shackling or hoisting of live animals; the bleeding of live animals; slaughtering; back-up stunning and/or killing methods. 8. 8The animal welfare ocer must be in a position to requirethat all personnel perform their tasks in accordance with EUanimal welfare rules in general and with the specic SOPsestablished for each slaughterhouse.The officer must ensure that operations are carried out by personswith the appropriate level of competence to do so without causingthe animals any avoidable pain, distress or suffering, and thatwhere appropriate, training that is recognised and approved by thenational designated authorities is being followed.The animal welfare ocer must also be able to require thatany remedial actions necessary are carried out to ensurecompliance with EU standards and specic SOPs.Hence, the animal welfare ocer must be duly mandatedby his/her slaughterhouse operator to exercise the author-ity necessary for his or her duties. Preferably, he should bedirectly responsible to the slaughterhouse operator.It is the slaughterhouse operator that appoints the animalwelfare ocer for each slaughterhouse, to assist in ensuringcompliance with relevant EU animal welfare rules.The animal welfare ocer reports any matters on animalwelfare to his or her slaughterhouse operator, especially ifthey need a managerial decision. 9. 94. THE KEY STUNNING PARAMETERSThe animal welfare ocer must be familiar with all relevantaspects of stunning parameters2 for the species and opera-tions in the slaughterhouse for which he or she is respon-sible.The legislation establishes requirements for stunning butsome parameters have to be dened by the slaughterhouseoperator (called key parameters). The role of the animalwelfare ocer is hence to dene these key parameters andmake sure that they are implemented.2See annex 1 of the regulation of the complete listof stunning methods and related specications 10. 10For the penetrative captive bolt, the following must be de-ned and monitored: the position and direction of the shot,the appropriate velocity, exit length and diameter of the bolt(according to animal size and species), and maximum stunto stick/kill interval(s). For electrical stunning techniques key parameters must be set up.For head-only electrical stunning, the following must bedened and monitored: the minimum current (A or mA) ac-cording to animal category, minimum voltage (V), maximumfrequency (Hz), minimum time of exposure, maximum stun-to-stick/kill interval(s), frequency of calibration of the equip-ment, optimisation of the current ow, prevention of electri-cal shocks before stunning, and position and contact surfacearea of the electrodes. 11. 11For head-to-body electrical stunning, the following mustbe dened and monitored: the minimum current (A or mA)according to species, minimum voltage (V), maximum fre-quency (Hz), minimum time of exposure, frequency of cali-bration of the equipment, optimisation of the current ow,prevention of electrical shocks before stunning, and positionand contact surface area of the electrodes, and maximumstun-to-stick interval(s), in case of simple stunning(s). 12. 12For electrical waterbath stunning, the following must bedened and monitored: the minimum current (A or mA),minimum voltage (V), maximum frequency (Hz) accordingto species, minimum time of exposure, frequency of calibra-tion of the equipment, prevention of electrical shocks beforestunning, minimising pain at shackling, optimisation of cur-rent ow, maximum shackle duration before the waterbath,minimum time of exposure for each animal, immersion ofthe birds up to the base of the wings, maximum stun-to-stick/kill interval(s) for frequency over 50 Hz(s). For gas methods key parameters must be set up.For carbon dioxide at high concentration, the followingmust be dened and monitored: the level of carbon dioxideconcentration, duration of exposure, maximum stun-to-stickinterval(s) in case of simple stunning, quality of the gas, andtemperature of the gas. 13. 13For carbon dioxide in two phases, the following must bedened and monitored: the carbon dioxide concentration,duration of exposure, quality of the gas, and temperatureof the gas.For carbon dioxide associated with inert gases, the follow-ing must be dened and monitored: the carbon dioxide con-centration, duration of exposure, maximum stun-to-stick/kill interval(s) in case of simple stunning, quality of the gas,temperature of the gas, and oxygen concentration.For inert gases, the following must be dened and moni-tored: the oxygen concentration, duration of exposure, qual-ity of the gas, maximum stun-to-stick/kill interval(s) in caseof simple stunning, and temperature of the gas. 14. 14 SUMMARY CHECKLIST FOR STUNNINGmechanical stunning position and direction of shot appropriate velocity maximum stun to stick/kill interval(s) + Plus penetrative captive bolt exit length and devicesdiameter of the boltelectrical stunning minimum current (A or mA) minimum voltage (V) maximum frequency (Hz) minimum time of exposure maximum stun-to-stick/kill interval(s) frequency of calibration of the equipment optimisation of the current ow prevention of electrical shocks before stunning 15. 15 electrical stunning+ Plushead-only and head-to-body position and contactelectrical stunningsurface area of the electrodeselectrical waterbathsmissing pain at shackling maximum shackle duration before the waterbath immersion of birds up to winggas stunninggas concentrationduration of exposuretemperature of the gas+ Pluscarbon dioxide at high quality of the gasconcentration maximum stun-to- stick interval(s)carbon dioxide in two phases quality of the gascarbon dioxide associated with quality of the gasinert gases maximum stun-to- stick interval(s) oxygen concentrationinert gasesquality of the gas maximum stun-to- stick/kill interval(s) oxygen concentration 16. 1