An innovative solution to enhance animal welfare and develop local markets
Given the increasing difficulty for farmers to find slaughterhouses close to their farm, which directly impacts the farmer’s capacity to avoid long distance transport for animals and hinders the development of direct and local markets, it is necessary to develop appropriate solutions. On-farm slaughter presents many advantages that are worthy of consideration and presented by this paper: it offers a dignified end-of-life for an animal, but also enables farmers to both receive a fair price for their work and to meet consumers’ demand for high welfare, local and regional products. Therefore, the Federation sees it as an innovative solution to be further encouraged. If we want to set ambitious targets for animal husbandry and develop local and regional markets supporting on-farm slaughter is the way forward by supporting:
- Legislative measures to guarantee a harmonised approach at European level and to reinforce the current legal basis to allow on-farm slaughter;
- Technical and economic support, especially at the beginning to develop the infrastructure;
- A reinforcement of small and local abattoirs, essential for the development of direct marketing.
The full version of the paper can be found below.
The European Commisssion made a step in the right direction by publishing a draft delegated act authorising on-farm slaughter for big animals on the demand of a certain number of Member States, especially Germany. The delegated act will amend the Annnex III of the EU Regulation 853/2004 on hygiene requirements for food of animal origin.
However, a number of measures and restrictions frame the process:
- The authorisation for on-farm slaughter is limited to big animals only (horses, bovines and piges), smaller animals are not taken into consideration (sheep or goats for instance). For bovines and horses it is limited to 3 animals at a time, 6 for pigs;
- The presence of an official veterinary is mandatory on the farm;
- The carcasse of the animal must be transported by a truck in a maximum of 2 hours to the slaugtherhouse.
Several concerns were already raised among others regarding the mandatory presence of a veterinary and the limitation to the big animals. The draft delegated act will be discussed by the European Parliament in March and potentially be adopted in the second quarter of 2021. Hopefully, the final version will come along with some judicious modifications on these points.
Contact: Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public relations