Animal welfare: Stricter rules in Switzerland
Animal welfare

Stricter rules in Switzerland

Imago / Geisser
Switzerland is introducing a documentation requirement for CO2 stunning of pigs, with a transitional period of one year.
Switzerland is introducing a documentation requirement for CO2 stunning of pigs, with a transitional period of one year.

SWITZERLAND, Bern. From January, new regulations will apply to transport and slaughter. There are more precise requirements for the stunning of animals.

In order to further reduce the stress and suffering of animals in and outside slaughterhouses, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) has now revised the Ordinance on Animal Welfare at Slaughter (VTSchS) in Switzerland. In the course of the revision, according to the FSVO, among other things the stunning methods have been adapted to new scientific findings. In addition, for the first time, guidelines apply to the gas stunning of chickens and turkeys. Among other things, the changes took into account the findings of the 2018 and 2019 analysis "Animal Welfare and Meat Control in Slaughterhouses" conducted by the Federal Food Chain Unit (BLK). According to the BLV, gas stunning of chickens and turkeys, which is mainly used in large-scale operations, is currently carried out exclusively with CO2.

Alternatives to the use of CO2

The revision of the regulation has laid the groundwork so that gentler gas mixtures could be used in the future. In addition, the new regulation contains numerous adaptations based on new scientific findings, for example more precise specifications for electric stunning and for assessing the success of stunning. In addition, the attachment points for bolt guns and stunning tongs as well as the bleeding times for small ruminants have been redefined. The regulation goes into effect on January 1, 2022. A transition period of ten years is provided for changes that require structural adjustments in slaughterhouses. A transitional period of one year applies to the documentation requirement for CO2 stunning of pigs.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de, AgE

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