EFSA addresses welfare issues at pig slaughter


Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress

Jun 24, 2020  


In a time where slaughterhouses and their staff are under scrutiny due to Covid-19, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a scientific opinion on pig welfare during the slaughter process. Their view: most welfare issues at slaughter are due to inadequate staff skills and poorly designed and constructed facilities.


The European Commission requested the scientific opinion. It is based on the latest available scientific knowledge and is developed in consultation with animal welfare experts from EU member states. The article proposes measures to address the welfare hazards most commonly associated with the slaughter of pigs for food production and follows similar earlier opinions on poultry and rabbits.


Future approach to pig welfare at slaughter


The scientific opinion is important, as it will most likely play an important role in the EU’s future approach to pig welfare at slaughter. In a press release, 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.


She added, “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.”


Recommendations on pig welfare included ...


Process from arrival to slaughter ...