Surgical procedures under anaesthesia – meat and milk from lamb, sheep and goat
Castration of male lambs can be done to prevent unwanted mating when the lambs have reached sexual maturity, amongst other things. Goats may be dehorned to prevent them from harming each other. Without anaesthesia, such surgical procedures cause both pain and stress for the animals, regardless of their age. Contracting organisations can contribute to ensuring that surgical procedures are carried out with less pain and stress for the animals by requiring the use of anaesthesia.
- Technical specification
- Milk and dairy from sheep and goats
Meat and milk products must be derived from animals that have been anaesthetised during any and all surgical procedures, including castration and dehorning. Dehorning by caustic paste, and castration by rubber ring are not permitted.
The supplier must be able to present one of the following, for example:
- Details regarding the raw material's country of origin and reference to applicable law in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g.,
- Ursprung Sverige [Origin: Sweden], Chapter 4 Section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192), Chapter 4, Sections 1, 2 of the Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance (2019:66), and Chapter 5 of SJVFS 2019:25 Item no. D8 L41.
- Certification according to IP Sigill lamm [IP Sigill lamb] or other certification that meets the requirement.
- Other documentation showing that the requirement is met.
One method of follow-up is through spot checks of delivered products. The information provided by the supplier in its tender is then checked/examined, for example by:
- ensuring that origin marking appears on the product in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g.,
- Ursprung Sverige [Origin: Sweden], 'Kött från Sverige' [Meat from Sweden] or 'Från Sverige' [From Sweden] along with documentation showing that the requirement has been met, e.g., an Importer's Declaration along with a self-assessment in accordance with Miljöhusesyn, audit records or veterinary records.
- ensuring that information about certification according to IP Sigill lamm [IP Sigill lamb] or other certification that meets the requirement is correct.
- ensuring that other documentation provided shows that the requirement is met.
Information about the criterion
The regulations for organic products require anaesthesia or analgesia during surgical procedures. For requirements regarding surgical procedures under anaesthesia and analgesia, see Organic product - addition lamb, Requirement ID 10400
Market access may be limited for individual products. It is recommended to set this requirement for products with a milk content of at least 20 percent. Conduct a market analysis to ensure the availability of products.
Castration of male lambs can be done to prevent unwanted mating when the lambs have reached sexual maturity, amongst other things. Goats may be dehorned to prevent them from harming each other. Without anaesthesia, surgical procedures such as castration or dehorning cause both pain and stress for the animals, regardless of their age, which clearly impairs welfare for the animals.
In Sweden, it is permissible to, for example, dehorn goats and castrate bucks and rams even where there is no medical reason to do so according to chapter 4, section 1 of the Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance (2019:66). Dehorning and castration are permitted but must be performed by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia. Any and all surgical procedures must always be done under anaesthesia in accordance with Chapter 4, section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192). According to the Federation of Swedish Farmers, male lambs are rarely castrated in Sweden, but this is not the case in other major lamb-producing countries. So-called muelsing – that is, the surgical removal of folds of skin from a sheep's breech to prevent fly infestations – occurs mostly in merino wool production rather than lamb or mutton production; this is true in Sweden as well as the major producing countries.
Within the EU, surgical procedures are considered to be mutilation, but there is no common EU legislation on the area that applies for all production. Point 19 of the Annex to Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes states that, pending the adoption of specific provisions concerning mutilations, relevant national provisions shall apply.
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
2020-12-21: RequirementID: 10442:1: Included sheep, goat and milk products.Added "under anaesthesia" in the name. Deleted "surgical" castration and added prohibition of dehorning with caustic paste. In verification, added information of country of origin with reference to applicable law and documentation.