Transport of Casualty Farm Animals (PB1381)

Slaughtering Animals on the Farm


If the decision is taken that the animal cannot be transported without unnecessary suffering, then it must be humanely slaughtered on the farm. The carcase may be sent to a slaughterhouse as long as the conditions specified in The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995, Regulation 18 (given in Annex B) are adhered to. This requires a veterinary surgeon to inspect the animal prior to slaughter and complete a certificate (given in Schedule 19 of the Regulations, reproduced in Annex C), which, amongst other points states that the animal is, in the veterinary surgeon's opinion, fit for human consumption. A list of indications of unfitness for human consumption is given in Annex D. The veterinary surgeon must also certify that the animal has been bled in an 'approved manner'. The carcase must arrive at the slaughterhouse within the time limits given in Regulation 18.


There is no single 'approved manner' of bleeding an animal. Animals are bled out after stunning to ensure that they die from loss of blood before there is a chance of them regaining consciousness. The points listed below should be borne in mind by the veterinary surgeon when deciding whether he or she can clearly certify that bleeding was carried out in an 'approved manner'.


(i) In order to avoid any risk of the animal regaining consciousness, sticking should follow stunning without delay.
(ii) The skin at the point where the animal is stuck should be clean.
(iii) The major blood vessels should be cut with a clean knife.
(iv) The act of sticking the animal should produce an immediate and copious flow of blood.
(v) Reasonable and sufficient precautions should be taken to protect the sticking wound from risk of contamination during and after bleeding out.


The bled carcase must be accompanied by the veterinary surgeon's certificate to the slaughterhouse.

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