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Outline the role of the vet at slaughter

- Control of welfare
- Animal health
- Meat inspection
- Antemortem inspection


What is the role of the European Food Safety Association?

EU department carrying out risk assessment for environmental factors that may affect human health


Give an example of environmental factors that may affect human health

Watering vegetation with animal faeces-contaminated water


What is meant by Veterinary Public Health?

The sum of all contributions to the physical, mental and social well-being of humans through an understanding and application of veterinary science


What legislation applies to the EU requirements for vets?

Directive 2005/36/EC regulation of Professional Qualifications


What is required under the Directive 2005/36/EC Regulation of Professional Qualifications

All vets must have adequate knowledge of hygiene and technology involved in production, manufacture and circulation of animal foodstuffs intended for human consumption


What 3 topics are specified in the Directive 2005/36/EC Regulation of Professional Qualifications?

- Inspection and control of animal foodstuffs
- Food hygiene and technology
- Practical work (places where animals are slaughtered, places where food of animal origin is processed)


What are the roles of Official Veterinarians?

- Slaughterhouse AMI and PMI
- bTB testing
- Pet passports
- Exports


Outline the general production "flow diagram" for food animal species

Loading -> transport -> unloading -> (FCI, passport and ear tags checked) -> lairage -> slaughter


Under what regulation is it necessary to check food chain information?

Regulation EC number 853/2004


Outline the FCI requirements at slaughter

- Slaughterhouse operator must request, receive, check and act upon FCI for all cattle, sheep and goats sent for slaughter for human consumption
- FBO must not accept animals without FCI
- Receive 24 hours in advance (some exceptions)


What are the minimum elements required in an FCI?

- Animal's health status
- Holding health status
- Details of medicines and withdrawal periods
- Private vet details (pig and poultry)
- relevant production data, diseases and analysis


What happens if an animal enters the slaughterhouse without an FCI?

Will be slaughtered but will not enter the food chain


What are specific requirements for cattle FCIs?

- Must have individual identification in form of 2 ear tags
- FCI is the minimum, extra forms are needed (passport)


What are specific requirements for sheep FCIs?

- 2 sections
- First goes to the FBO, second to DEFRA


What is included in poultry FCIs?

- Are extensive
- Includes information on mortality, vaccination, treatments


What is included in pig FCIs?

Is a combined document of the pig movement license and the Food Chain Information


What are the requirements regarding transport of animals for human consumption?

- Require transport authorisation
- Those transporting must hold Certificate of Competence
- Vehicles must be approved
- Animals must not be subject to injury or unnecessary suffering
- Regulations on journey times, resting, watering and feeding must be observed
- Cleaning and disinfection of livestock vehicles


Describe the cleaning and disinfection requirements of livestock vehicles

- Before new animals are loaded
- Inside or outside the abattoir
- Is the responsibility of the farmer and the FBO


How is FBO compliance regulated?

Verified by FSA individual (MHI or OV) and breaches are reported to local authority


What regulation applies to the transport of animals and related operations?

Council Regulation EC 1/2005


In what conditions must animals never be transported to the abattoir according to the pertinent legislation?

- Animals unable to move independently
- Animals with severe open wounds, or prolapses
- >90% pregnant animals or given birth within 7 days
- New born animals without completely healed navel
- Pigs<3wks, lambs<1wk, calves <10 days if the journey is >100km
- Animals <7 days old
- Medicated animals where the withdrawal period is not complete


What are the requirements for the unloading of animals at the abattoir?

- Unloaded as soon as possible
- Slaughterhouse must have suitable equipment and facilities to unload animals safely


What are the requirements for unloading ramps?

- Must have slope that sits as flat as possible
- Walls or railings in place to prevent animals falling off
- Floor must be non-sleep, and not have deep cracks/crevices
- No sharp edges or parts that stick out


What are the guidelines regarding animals that are dead on arrival at the abattoir?

- Must not enter the food chain
- PMI carried out
- Report to Trading Standards if he death occurred in transport


List the main legislations relating to abattoirs and slaughterhouses

- Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006 (WATO)
- Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
- The Protection of Animals Act
- The Animal Health Act
- The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966
- Food Hygiene Package for EU


What legislation is contained in the Food Hygiene Package for the EU?

- EC 852/2004
- EC 853/2004
- EC 854/2004


Outline the responsibilities of abattoir management

- Animal Welfare Officer appointed
- Have caring and responsible planning and management
- Appropriate environmental design
- Consider handling and transport
- Humane slaughter methods
- Take action where animal welfare is inadequate


What are some advantages of good slaughterhouse management?

- Reduction of bruising
- Improved meat quality
- Good design means animals move through system with little or no encouragement and so less stressful


How can freedom from hunger and thirst be upheld in abattoirs?

- If in lairage, provide access to clean water
- Drinking containers positioned to allow easy access, and to prevent fouling
- Fixed position of containers where practical
- Provide enough for the number of animals
- Food only provided if staying overnight


How can freedom from discomfort and extremes of temperature be upheld in abattoirs?

- Keep animal safe from potential injuries, no sudden noises, prevent escape, prevent entry of predators, allow easy inspection
- Adequate ventilation in lairage
- Field lairage must offer shelter and shade
- Need enough pens to house all animals, enough space for each animal to stand/lie and turn around


How is freedom from pain, suffering and disease upheld in abattoirs?

- AWO or someone reporting to them, must assess welfare of each animal in each consignment
- Prioritise animals for slaughter, meet welfare needs of sick animals, identify measures that need to be taken


How can freedom to express natural behaviour be upheld in abattoirs?

- Avoid isolation
- Avoid mixing of social groups
- However, is an unusual environment so will usually increase aggression


How can freedom from fear and distress be upheld in abattoirs?

- Must not frighten, excite or mistreat animals when moving
- Move each animal with care
- Only use guiding instruments on animals for short periods of time
- Avoid use of electric shock instruments
- Only move to place of killing when are ready to stun and kill immediately after


What is meant by Emergency Slaughter?

Slaughter of an animal that on AMI appears fit to enter the human food chain, where this animal cannot be transported to the abattoir due to an acute condition


What are the exclusion criteria for emergency slaughter?

- Animal with disease or condition that may be transmitted to humans or animals through handling or consumption of meat
- Animals showing signs of emaciation or systemic disease
- Animals showing excessive contamination


Is an AMI required in emergency slaughter?

Yes, in order for the animal to enter the food chain an AMI carried out by the Primary Veterinary Surgeon is required


Outline some considerations regarding the slaughter of intractable animals

- May pose danger when loading and so on farm slaughter may be suitable
- AMI carried out
- Quality of the carcass may be affected
- History important (always highly strung or sudden onset?)
- Safety of public in case of escape


What are the options for disposal of an animal where treatment is not an option or end of productive life has been reached?

- Open market (auction or direct supply contract)
- Direct to slaughter facility (farmer declaration, permitted if small localised lesion)
- Emergency on farm slaughter if transport not an option
- Fallen stock scheme where cannot be transported to slaughterhouse and not eligible for on farm slaughter


What is outlined in the EC 852/2004 regulations?

Hygiene of foodstuffs, rules for food business operators including farmers


What is outlined in the EC 853/2004 regulations?

Specific rules for food of animal origin e.g. slaughterhouse operators


What is outlined in the EC 854/2004 regulations?

Rules for organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption, including rules for OVs in slaughterhouses


What legislation applies to animal markets?

Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990


Outline the requirements for sale of animals at market

- Offence to present animal at market that is unfit
- Is undefined, but as in relation to an animal or bird includes infirm by virtue of being diseased, injured or fatigued
- Animals that has not completed withdrawal time for medications deemed unfit


Outline the requirements for sending an animal direct to slaughter

- Must comply with transport legislation
- Must comply with Clean Livestock Policy


Under what conditions may an animal be transported

- Only transported where fit for intended journey, and in conditions guaranteed not to cause injury or unnecessary suffering
- If they are slightly injured or ill and transport will not add to suffering
- Transported to nearest place for veterinary treatment under veterinary supervision, or nearest place for slaughter if unlikely to cause further suffering
- Mild-moderately lame animals with conditions
- Congenital abnormalities


Under what conditions can mild to moderately lame animals be trasnported?

- Single pen arrangements
- Sufficient space to lie down
- Deep bedding
- Direct route
- Careful driving
- Sympathetic loading/unloading


When does an animal qualify for Emergency Slaughter?

- Where animals have suffered accident that prevents transport of an otherwise healthy animal to slaughterhouse
- Must be emergency i.e. case requires immediate action


After what period are accidents considered chronic and no longer eligible for on farm slaughter?

24 hours


What are the veterinary requirements regarding Emergency slaughter?

- Primary vet must perform AMI
- Must be present at time of slaughter
- Must sign declaration to sign time and date that slaughter took place
- Withdrawal data required


What methods of slaughter can be used in the Fallen Stock scheme?

- Captive bolt stunning followed by bleeding or pithing
- Free bullet
- Shotgun
- Barbiturate


What method of disposal is most appropriate in the case of a fractured pelvis?

If accident within last 24 hours and no systemic disease, then emergency slaughter is appropriate
- Must ensure animal is clean


What method of disposal is most appropriate in a dystocia case?

- Fallen stock scheme
- Unlikely to provide good economic return


What method of disposal is most appropriate in a prolapsed uterus case?

- Depends on trauma and degree of prolapse
- Emergency slaughter common


What are the signs of effective stunning?

- Animal collapses instantly
- No rhythmic breathing
- Fixed glazed eyes
- No corneal reflex
- Relaxed jaw tone
- Tongue hangs out


Where is the captive bolt placed in adult cattle?

Middle of forehead, at intersection of lines between eyes and base of opposite horn


What is an important consideration when deciding on emergency slaughter?

Does not necessarily mean the animal will enter human consumption chain, depends on slaughterhouse accepting carcass and PMI


Outline the flow diagram of beef production

- Stunning
- Shackling
- Bleeding
- Head removal
- Hide removal
- Evisceration
- Splitting
- Spinal cord
- Trimming
- Marking
- Washing
- Chilling, quartering and deboning


Outline the flow diagram for lamb production

- Stunning
- Shackling
- Bleeding
- Hide removal
- Evisceration
- +/- splitting
- Trimming
- Marking
- Washing
- Chilling and deboning


What are the guidelines regarding splitting of lamb carcasses?

- Depends on size of carcass
- Lambs <12mo usually commercialised as whole carcass, older animals split


Outline the flow diagram for pork production

- Stunning
- Shackling
- Bleeding
- Scalding, dehairing, singing, polishing
- Washing
- Evisceration
- Splitting
- Washing
- Health mark
- Chilling and deboning


Compare the processing of pork to that of lamb or beef

- Hide of pork is edible so is not removed whereas skin is removed in cattle and sheep
- Instead must be dehaired


Define stunning

Any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain


Outline the requirements for slaughter outlined in the Slaughter of Animals Act 1980

- Every animal slaughtered in slaughterhouse or knackers yard shall be instantaneously slaughtered or rendered insensible to pain until death supervenes
- Such slaughtering must be carried out by licensed persons using mechanically operated instrument in proper state of repair


What are some exceptions to the Slaughter of Animals Act 1980 regulations?

Religious slaughter e.g. Halal and Kosher, are not stunned


What are the aims of stunning?

- Kill humanely
- Obtain maximum amount of blood from animal
- Health and safety


What are the requirement for restraint at stunning?

- Must be mechanically restraint
- Birds <3kg can be manually restrained


What are the regulations for the use of captive bolt stunning?

- Non-penetrative only for cattle, sheep, goats and deer <10kg (not usually used commercially)
- Penetrative bolt method used


Outline the physiological effects of captive bolt stunning

- Heavy blow leading to acceleration of the head and subsequent brain impact causing physical damage
- Damage to nerves and blood vessels
- Massive rise then fall in pressure
- Disruption of normal electrical activity
- Duration of stunning and unconsciousness depends on severity of damage


What are the 3 phases of stunning?

- Tonic
- Clonic
- Relaxation


Describe the tonic phase of stunning

- Initial 10-20 seconds
- Animal collpases, stops breathing
- Becomes rigid
- Head extended, hind limbs flexed
- Forelimbs gradually straighten out


Describe the clonic phase of stunning

- Involuntary kicking
- Ideally hoist animal up at this stage to reduce risk of injury as a consequence of kicking


Describe the relaxation phase of stunning

Walking/paddling movements seen


What are the requirements for stunning?

- Formal training and OV supervision
- Correct equipment
- Correct site
- Appropriate restraint
- Production of full tonic phase
- Minimal stun to stick time
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of equipment


Outline the different types of electric stunning

- Low voltage: 7 secs applications
- High voltage: 3 secs application
- Head only: reversible, animal can fully recover
- Head to body: cardiac arrest, irreversible
- Minimum current device mandatory


What is the consequence of electrical stunning?

- Epileptiform fit
- Unconscious and insensible to pain
- 3 phases: tonic, clonic and recovery
- Duration of phases depends on species


Describe the tonic phase of electrical stunning

- Rigid
- Breathing stops
- Head raised
- Hind legs flexed
- No tonic = no stun


Describe the clonic phase of electrical stunning

- Gradual relaxation
- Walking/paddling movements
- Downward rotation of eyes
- Foaming, urination


Describe the recovery phase of electrical stunning

- Regain consciousness
- Quiet


What are the different methods of gas stunning?

- Carbon dioxide at high concentration
- Carbon dioxide mixed with inert gases
- Inert gases alone


Outline gas stunning using carbon dioxide at high concentration

- Minimum CO2 concentration 80%
- Must lead to anoxia
- Must not enter gas stunner if CO2 concentration by volume falls below 80%
- Must be conveyed to maximum concentration of gas within 30s of entering stunner


Outline gas stunning using carbon dioxide mixed with inert gases

- Must be exposed directly or progressively to gas mixture containing up to 40% carbon dioxide mixed with inert gases
- Maximum 40% carbon dioxide
- Must lead to anoxia
- Wide spectrum of options for the inert gases


Outline gas stunning using inert gases alone

- Must be exposed directly or progressively to an inert gas mixture, such as argon or nitrogen
- Must lead to anoxia


What is required for gas stunning?

- Chamber to contain pigs and gas and conveyor system
- Flush mechanisms for stunner
- Back up mechanical device
- Quick access to pigs
- Allow pigs to stand until lose consciousness, enough space to lie die without lying on each other, enough light to see each other
- Must not injure or bruise pigs, or compress pig's chest


Describe the appearance of effective stunning using gas

- Recumbent animal, limbs and jaw relaxed
- No voluntary movements or rightin reflexes
- No response to nose prick
- Absence of normal breathing


What are some advantages of gas stunning?

- No excitement
- Completely relaxed and intensified breathing meaning easy bleeding
- Non-invasive
- Reduced blood splash
- Reduced Pale Soft Exudative (PSE)meat


What are some disadvantages of gas stunning?

- Expensive
- Welfare doubts - acidic gas pungent to inhale at >40%, potent respiratory stimulant that leads to breathlessness, non instantaneous


When is bleeding ideally carried out?

In the tonic phase


What are the potential methods for bleeding of carcasses?

- Neck cut = carotids and jugulars in small ruminants
- Thoracic stick = ascending aorta


What are the consequences of improper bleeding?

Abnormal colouration of meat which may lead to rejection or reduced shelf life


What factors may affect bleeding?

- Health of animals (rested bleeds better)
- Rest prior to slaughter (muscle tone)
- Back bleeding into the thoracic cavity
- Blood splashing


What is blood splashing?

Capillary rupture, may be related to increase in blood pressure, commonly due to electrical stunning or less commonly due to stress, diet, physiological or genetic factors


How long does it take for death to occur following bleeding in cattle and small ruminants/pigs?

- Cattle: 30seconds
- Small ruminants and pigs: 20 seconds


What procedures are carried out for hair removal of pig carcasses?

- Scalding
- Rollig in dehairer
- Singing
- Polishing


Outline the process of dehiding

- Cannot cut fat off carcass
- Prior to dehiding assume animal is healthy with no bacterial infection
- Once remove hide, meat is exposed to environment and potential for contamination


What are disadvantages of rolling in dehairers and polishing of pig carcasses?

- Some risk of impact and damage to carcass
- If faecal material still in GI on rolling, will be expelled and contaminate other carcasses


Outline head removal

- Depends on what animal will be used for and slaughterhouse policy
- Can be before or after dehiding
- Required for cattle for TSE checks


What is evisceration?

Remvoal of offal


What organs are removed in evisceration?

- Intestine, heart, liver and lungs
- In some carcasses will remove kidneys (remove in cattle, leave in in sheep, goats and pigs)


Outline splitting of carcasses

- Always in cattle and sheep to remove spinal cord
- For other species depends on consumer needs


Why is trimming carried out?

To remove visual contamination as red meat cannot be washed


What are the chilling requirements for meat and offal?

- Meat: below 7degreesC before it can move on
- Offal: below 3degreesC


What procedures require a Certificate of Competence?

- Handling animals
- Stunning animals
- Pithing of animals
- Restraining animals
- Shackling animals
- hoisting animals
- Bleeding of live animals
- Checking that stunning has worked
- Checking that pithing has worked