Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1995/731

1995No. 731

ANIMALS

PREVENTION OF CRUELTY

The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing)

Regulations 1995

14thMarch1995

14thMarch1995

1stApril1995

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

PART I

INTRODUCTORY

1. Title, commencement and extent

2. Interpretation

3. Application and exemptions

4. Humane treatment of animals

5. Safeguarding the welfare of animals

6. Animal welfare legislation and codes

7. Codes of practice

PART II

REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO SLAUGHTERHOUSES AND KNACKERS' YARDS

8. Construction, equipment and maintenance of slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

9. The slaughter of animals in slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

10. The killing of animals in slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

11. The killing of pigs and birds by exposure to gas mixtures

12. Additional provisions for the slaughter or killing of horses

PART III

SLAUGHTER AND KILLING ELSEWHERE THAN IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES OR KNACKERS' YARDS

13. Application of Part III

14. The slaughter of animals elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard

15. The killing of animals elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard

16. The slaughter or killing of animals elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard for private consumption

17. The killing or slaughter of animals for the purpose of disease control

18. The killing of fox and mink which are farmed for their fur

19. The killing of surplus chicks and embryos in hatchery waste

20. Birds awaiting slaughter at place of purchase

PART IV

SLAUGHTER BY A RELIGIOUS METHOD

21. Additional requirements for slaughter by a religious method

22. Exemption for slaughter by a religious method

PART V

EXECUTION, OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

23. Powers of authorised persons

24. Obstruction

25. Offences by bodies corporate

26. Offences and penalties

27. Defence

PART VI

REPEALS, REVOCATIONS AND AMENDMENTS

28. Repeals, revocations and amendments

SCHEDULES

Schedule 1 The licensing of slaughtermen

Schedule 2 The construction, equipment and maintenance of slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

Schedule 3 Requirements for animals awaiting slaughter or killing

Schedule 4 Restraint of animals before stunning, slaughter or killing

Schedule 5 Stunning or killing of animals other than animals reared for fur

Schedule 6 Bleeding or pithing of animals

Schedule 7 Killing pigs and birds by exposure to gas mixtures

Schedule 8 Additional provisions for the slaughter or killing of horses in slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

Schedule 9 Slaughter or killing methods for the purpose of disease control

Schedule 10 Methods of killing fox and mink

Schedule 11 Killing of surplus chicks and embryos in hatchery waste

Schedule 12 Additional provisions for slaughter by a religious method

Schedule 13 Repeals

Schedule 14 Amendments of enactments and regulations

Schedule 15 Revocations

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State, being Ministers designated( a) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972( b) in relation to the common agricultural policy of the European Community, acting jointly, in exercise of the powers conferred upon them by the said section 2(2) and of all other powers enabling them in that behalf, hereby make the following Regulations:

PART I

INTRODUCTORY

Title, commencement and extent

1.-(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 and shall come into force on 1st April 1995.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3) below, these Regulations extend to Great Britain.

(3) Paragraph 2(3) and (4) of Schedule 6 extends to England and Wales.

Interpretation

2.-(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

"animal" includes bird;

"adverse weather condition" means any weather condition, including direct sunlight, which has an adverse affect on the welfare of an animal;

"authorised person" means any person authorised in writing by the Minister for the purposes of these Regulations;

"commercial", in relation to the slaughter or killing of an animal, means slaughter or killing-

(a) in the course or furtherance of a business or for reward;(b) by, or on behalf of, the purchaser of an animal on premises belonging to, occupied by or under the control of the seller of the animal; or(c) in a market place;

"container" means any transport crate in which an animal is delivered to a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard;

"contravention", in relation to any provision of these Regulations, includes a failure to comply with that provision, and "contravenes" shall be construed accordingly;

"horse" includes any hinny, ass or mule;

"killing", in relation to an animal, means causing the death of the animal by any process other than slaughter;

"knacker's yard" means any premises used for the commercial slaughter or killing of solipeds, ruminants, pigs, rabbits or birds, the flesh of which is not intended for human consumption, including any associated facilities for moving or lairaging such animals;

(a) S.I. 1972/1811.

(b) 1972 c. 68.

"lairaging", in relation to an animal, means keeping the animal in a stall, pen, covered area or field used by a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard in order to confine it until it is slaughtered or killed or to give it any necessary attention before it is slaughtered or killed;

"the Minister" means, in relation to England, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and, in relation to Scotland or Wales, the Secretary of State;

"the Ministers" means the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Scotland acting jointly;

"movement", in relation to an animal, means unloading it or driving it from an unloading place, stall or pen at a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard to the premises or place where it is to be lairaged, slaughtered or killed;

"pithing", in relation to an animal, means the destruction of its brain tissue after stunning to the extent that irreversible loss of consciousness is ensured;

"restraining pen" means a pen or compartment which is-

(a) suitable for restraining for slaughter by a religious method (as defined in paragraph 2 of Schedule 12) in an upright position any ox, bullock, cow, heifer or steer or any calf which is too large to be restrained manually on a cradle or on a table;(b) constructed so as to permit one animal at a time to be confined in it without discomfort and so as to prevent any substantial movement of the animal forwards, backwards or sideways once it has been placed in position for slaughter; and(c) approved by the Minister under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12;

"restraint", in relation to an animal, means the application of any procedure designed to restrict its movements in order to facilitate effective stunning or killing;

"slaughter", in relation to an animal, means causing the death of the animal by bleeding;

"slaughterhouse" means any premises used for the commercial slaughter or killing of solipeds, ruminants, pigs, rabbits or birds the flesh of which is intended for human consumption, including any associated facilities for moving or lairaging such animals;

"stunning", in relation to an animal, means any process which causes immediate loss of consciousness which lasts until death;

"stunning pen" means a pen or compartment which is suitable for confining adult bovine animals while they are being stunned and which is so constructed that it-

(a) permits one animal at a time to be confined in it without discomfort;(b) prevents any substantial movement forwards, backwards or sideways of an animal confined in it;(c) restricts the movement of the head of any animal confined in it without causing the animal any avoidable excitement so as to permit accurate stunning and allows the head of the animal to be released immediately after the animal has been stunned; and(d) allows unimpeded access to the forehead of the animal confined in it;

"wild game" means wild land mammals which are hunted (including wild mammals living within an enclosed area under conditions of freedom similar to those enjoyed by wild game) and wild birds.

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person permits any act or omission if he knows of, or might reasonably be expected to know of, that act or omission.

(3) Any reference in these Regulations to a numbered regulation or Schedule shall, except where the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to the regulation or Schedule bearing that number in these Regulations.

(4) Any provision in these Regulations which applies to an animal awaiting slaughter or killing applies until that animal is dead.

Application and exemptions

3.-(1) These Regulations apply to the movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning, slaughter and killing of animals bred or kept for the production of meat, skin, fur or other products, to methods of killing animals for the purpose of disease control and to the killing of surplus chicks and embryos in hatchery waste.

(2) These Regulations do not apply to any act lawfully done under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986( a).

(3) These Regulations do not apply to any animal which is killed during a sporting event.

(4) These Regulations do not apply to the killing of wild game.

Humane treatment of animals

4.-(1) No person engaged in the movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning, slaughter or killing of animals shall-

(a) cause any avoidable excitement, pain or suffering to any animal; or(b) permit any animal to sustain any avoidable excitement, pain or suffering.

(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (3) below, no person shall engage in the movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning, slaughter or killing of any animal unless he has the knowledge and skill necessary to perform those tasks humanely and efficiently in accordance with these Regulations.

(3) Schedule 1 shall have effect in relation to the licensing of slaughtermen.

(4) Parts II and III below are without prejudice to the generality of paragraphs (1) and (2) above.

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