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Is animal welfare guaranteed in our operations, transport and slaughterhouse?

For our company, animal welfare is: 

when the animal is in harmony with its environment, enjoys physical and mental health, and has its specific needs attended to.

THERE IS NO WELFARE WITHOUT HEALTH: WELFARE IMPROVES HEALTH.

Animal Welfare Operating Procedure

1. OBJECTIVE
Avoid causing the animals upset, pain or suffering while they are being transported, stunned and killed.

2. SCOPE
It is applicable to the farming, transport, stunning, killing and bleeding of the poultry.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES
The slaughterhouse manager is responsible for application of the measures set out. They have received the relevant Animal Welfare training to enable them to do this.
 
Methodology (Animal Welfare measures)

Methodology (Animal Welfare measures)

  • Drinking vessels: minimal spillage
  • Nutrition: maximum fasting 12 h.
  • Beds: dry with a crumbly surface
  • Ventilation and heating: sufficient
  • Noise: as quiet as possible
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Inspection: min. twice a day
  • Cleaning and disinfection. After removal of the animals' litter.
  • Documentation to accompany the load: guide on transferring animals from the farm to the slaughterhouse, health certificate and transport disinfection and cleaning certificate.

Through all of these measures, we are attempting to achieve:

The 5 "freedoms" of farm animals:

  • they do not experience hunger or thirst (physiology);
  • they do not experience nuisance or physical discomfort (environmental);
  • they do not experience pain, injury or disease (health);
  • they do not experience fear or distress (psychology);
  • they can behave normally and naturally (ethology).


MEASURES ADOPTED WHEN TRANSFERRING POULTRY


Nobody may transport animals in such a way as to cause them injury or suffering. To avoid this, it is necessary to:

  • reduce the duration of the journey to a minimum and attend to the animals' needs during the journey;
  • the animals are to be in a suitable condition to make the journey;
  • the transport method is to be designed, built, maintained and used in such a way as to avoid injury and suffering and to guarantee their safety;
  • members of staff handling the animals are to be properly trained;
  • the animals are to be offered water, food and rest periods at sufficient intervals and under conditions that are qualitatively and quantitatively appropriate to their species and size.
  • Etc.



The load density of birds in the cages guarantees their well-being, and avoids causing them injury due to lack of space and unnecessary stress.

Maximum load density:

Birds weighing less than 1.6 kg 180 a 200 cm2/kg
Birds from 1.6 kg to 3 kg 160 cm2/kg
Birds from 3 kg to 5 kg 115 cm2/kg
Birds weighing more than 5 kg 105 cm2/kg

The manager of the slaughter section, or any persons delegated by them, are to regularly inspect the condition and state of health of the animals.

Records of the state of the animals on their arrival at the slaughterhouse are to be kept in the Live Bird Reception Register:

Date        
Shipment / Batch no.        
No. kg obtained        
Destination (dispatch / quartering)        
Incidents        
Corrective measures        
Manager's signature        
Checked by:  

Measures adopted to restrain the birds before they are stunned.MEASURES ADOPTED AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE

  • Chicken hangers are trained and instructed.
  • This ensures that the chickens are hung without suffering, injury or bruising.
  • Hanging is achieved by picking up the bird by both of its feet.
  • Calming bands are available all along the line.


Measures adopted when stunning the birds: How do we perform stunning?

  • In a water tank.
  • The stunner is adjustable, to enable contact with the bird's head, and the water reaches up to the wing joint.
  • It consists of an electrode.
  • Effective length 2 m.
  • The number of birds that pass through is 10 hooks.
  • Time exposed to the current 10-12 sec.
  • The voltage applied is 200 mA.
  • Frequency of about 400 Hz.
  • The intensity of the current ensures that the animal will be left unconscious.
  • The parameters are shown on the control panel screen. This ensures that everything is functioning correctly and is monitored on a daily basis by the slaughterhouse manager.
  • We have a back-up stunning system in the event the first one breaks down.
  • Equipment is submitted to preventive and corrective maintenance checks.
  • The effectiveness of electrical stunning is evaluated by checking for the presence of corneal reflexes and the time to recuperate physical activity.
  • The absence of corneal reflexes is checked before the scalder, and is an indicator that the animal is dead. 100 chickens are sampled per day.
  • Every week, a check is performed on the recovery of physical activity in a stunner. As a guide, the recovery of the breathing rhythm takes at least 45 seconds.