Stunning at the time of slaughter - chicken and turkey
A slaughter method that involves the animal being stunned during slaughter is very important from an animal protection perfective. The basic rule within the EU is that animals must be stunned at slaughter, but several member states admit exceptions to this rule. Sweden does not allow any exception and applies own, stricter rules regarding the current intensity when poultry is stunned using electrical water baths. If stunning with made with carbon dioxide, stunning should be made if two phases to ensure adequate stunning.
- Technical specification
Products of chicken and turkey must come from animals which have been fully stunned when bleeding is performed and completely unconscious until death occurs. Electrical stunning, stunning with carbon dioxiode or inert gas (argon and/or nitrogen) are permitted stunning methods.
When electrical water bath stunning is used for stunning of poultry, at the frequency of 50-200 Hz, the minimum current intensity should be at least 0,12 Ampere (120 mA) for chicken and 0,25 Ampere (250 mA) for turkey. The current intensity should be maintained until the animal is completely stunned.
When carbon dioxide is used for stunning of poultry, the registration of the concentration of carbon dioxide must be made at a level which makes it possible to control that the time- and concentration is sufficient to ensure complete unconsciousness of the animals. Stunning is to be made in at least two phases. Initially the carbon dioxide concentration should be maximum 40%, followed by a higher concentration when the animal has lost consciousness.
- Certification that fulfils the requirement
- Other documentation which verifies the requirenment
Control by random sample; request documentation from the supplier for example:
- Control protocol or report from an audit by an accredited control body.
- Journal or record from the slaughterhouse.
Observe that your supplier may need some time to acquire requested information.
Subject matter of contract
Chicken meat with environmental and animal protection criteria.
Information about the criterion
The criterion is stricter than the common EU-legislation regarding the requirements of current intensity when poultry is stunned using electrical water bath stunning. The criterion may affect the market availability and inplies that a market analysis is needed to assure availability of specific products, such as Halal meat.
Observe that Kosher-slaughter does not accept stunning.
Sweden has a complete prohibition of slaughter without previous stunning and does not allow any exceptions. For slaughter of poultry Sweden applies a higher current intensity than the common EU rules according to 7 chapter 24 § in the instructions regarding slaughter of animals from the Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJVFS 2012:27).
Regulation (EC) 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing states that "The protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing is a matter of public concern that affects consumer attitudes towards agricultural products." A stunning means that the electrical impulses from damaged tissue are stopped before they reach the brain. This prevents the conscious experience of pain. Stunning animals can thus prevent them from feeling pain and anxiety during slaughter. In addition, better animal protection at the time of slaughter contributes to reducing pain, fear or other forms of suffering. Certain procedures related to the termination can be stressful and all stunning techniques have some disadvantages. The business operators or any person involved in the termination of animals must take the necessary measures to avoid pain and minimize the suffering of the animals during slaughter and killing and consider best practices in the field and the approved methods.
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
2018-10-01, Krav ID: 10418:2: Name changed from Stunning methods to Stunning at the time of slaughter. Added: "Products of..." Allowed stunning methods and criterion for stunning with carbon dioxide. Monitoring suggestions. 2016-12-19, Krav ID: 10418:1: Changed level from core to advanced, specified current intensity and frequency