EU Regulation

Last changed: 04 February 2021

According to EU regulation, all Member States must designate a national contact point for animal welfare at the time of killing.

Companies involved in the slaughter or killing of animals for the production of meat or fur must follow a standard procedure to maintain good animal welfare. They must be able to evaluate the effectiveness of various anesthetic methods by checking that anesthetized animals do not regain consciousness before bleeding. Manufacturers of equipment must enclose instructions for use, care and impact assessment.

Furthermore, large slaughterhouses have to appoint an animal welfare officer who has overall responsibility that the slaugterhouse comply with animal welfare regulations and that relevant measures are taken when this is not the case. There are strict definitions of approved fixation, stunning and killing methods. The Commission is empowered to adopt common guidelines for the construction, design and equipment of slaughterhouses in order to maintain good animal welfare and ensure a level playing field for operators. Unacceptable killing methods are only alowed in exceptional situations.

The regulation applies directly in all Member States and in general to slaughterhouses in other countries that export meat to the EU. Individual Member States may maintain stricter regulations in this area. Sweden therefore retain the general requirement for anesthesia before slaughter, which also applies to religious slaughter.