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European pig sector to share intel on gas stunning

Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

Last updated on 28-Jul-2017 at 13:25 GMT2017-07-28T13:25:27Z

The pig sector wants to assess how welfare can be improved at the point of slaughter
The pig sector wants to assess how welfare can be improved at the point of slaughter

Trade bodies backing the EU pig sector will start sharing information on gas stunning amid pressure from welfare activists who have long campaigned against the practice.

Members of the European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV) have agreed to share knowledge on carbon dioxide (CO2) stunning in an effort to put commercial competitiveness aside to see if industry-wide improvements can be realised.

These includes studying slaughter technologies, research and animal welfare improvements.

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is one of the UECBV members that has agreed to share information and assess whether changes can be made to improve pig welfare at the point of slaughter.

CO2 ‘still the best’

As far as anyone can see, we still feel that CO2 gas stunning is still the best option, but we shouldn’t sit on our laurels and say that’s as good as it can be,” BMPA chief executive Nick Allen told this site.

We’ve agreed to work together to see whether it can be improved, developed and to coordinate research.

The agreement was reached at a UECBV meeting on 25 July, in which a number of bodies who collectively represent the majority of European pork processing attended.

Allen described the meeting as “quite good” and added: “It shows the industry is not just sitting back. I think some of these NGOs having a pop at it [gas stunning] has been a bit of a wake-up call to keep working at these things.

Big pork producers Denmark and Poland were unable to attend the meeting but are expected to send reports to UECBV on the issue.

UECBV members have agreed look at the use of gas stunning in their respective countries and share this information with other organisation to see if slaughter practices that improve animal welfare can be achieved.

Members are expected to meet again to discuss progress on the issue by early 2018.

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Cameras within the gas stunning room

Having seen industry videos of pigs shunted into the gas stunning cages by automated gates closing behind them - and then coming out from the stunning cages for further "processing" - what we really need to see is the behaviour of the pigs inside the gas stunning cages - to identify the "Humane-ness" of the gas stunning.

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Posted by Chris
28 July 2017 | 21h522017-07-28T21:52:21Z

Welfare at Point of Slaughter.

Excellent, years indeed of welfare and meat industry banging heads, what a terrific solution to get everyone together for one purpose - the pigs - after all, this is all about I would love to be involved having spent a lifetime working for welfare at point of slaughter.....what better than this.?

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Posted by Elaine
28 July 2017 | 15h312017-07-28T15:31:46Z

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