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EFSA publishes scientific opinions on the welfare of livestock during the slaughter process

An inevitable step in the rearing of livestock for food is their final visit to the slaughterhouse. Whilst this may not be something that many of us would wish to think too much about, we would all prefer that this process is carried out with the highest possible welfare standards.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently published three scientific opinions on the welfare of pigs, sheep and goats, chicken and turkeys during the slaughter process, in the context of the EU legislation on the protection of animals at the time of killing.

The opinions propose monitoring indicators to be used and sampling protocols to be put in place at slaughterhouses. According to this legislation, business operators must ensure that animals do not present any signs of consciousness after stunning and before death. A scientific opinion on monitoring procedures for cattle was published in early December.

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