Transport of Casualty Farm Animals (PB1381)

Advice for Slaughterhouses


The management and the Official Veterinary Surgeon at a slaughterhouse should wherever possible be notified in advance whenever a casualty animal is sent for slaughter, so that arrangements can be made for dealing with the animal immediately upon its arrival.


You must comply with the legislation on the humane handling and slaughter of animals, 'The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995'. Amongst other requirements, these require an animal in pain, or which will be caused pain if moved, to be slaughtered either in its vehicle or where it is lairaged.


Official Veterinary Surgeons at slaughterhouses should pay careful attention to the welfare condition of casualty animals arriving for slaughter. If the transport appears to the OVS to have compromised the welfare of the animal, he / she should contact the veterinary surgeon on-farm (if the veterinary surgeon advised the farmer).


If the OVS considers that an animal should not have been transported he or she should immediately provide details of the case to the Local Authority animal health and welfare inspectorate and the Divisional Veterinary Manager so that enquiries can be made regarding the circumstances in which the animal was moved from the farm or other place of origin.


Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997. It is for them to make the decision whether to prosecute when they believe that an animal may have been caused unnecessary suffering.


Further advice is given in the GB Agriculture Departments' Codes of Practice on The Construction and Layout of Red Meat Slaughterhouses and on The Welfare of Red Meat Animals at Slaughter.

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