Contact Point slauther

Last changed: 14 February 2019
Gris, foto: Julio Gonzalez, SLU.jpg

EU's regulation on the protection of animals at the time of killing requires all Member States to designate a so-called "contact point" to act as an independent scientific support, a network of experts, on animal welfare issues in slaughterhouses and other forms of killing. The Swedish Government has designated SCAW to act as the Swedish contact point for the protection of animals at the time of killing.

The regulation

The regulation states that the companies involved in slaughtering or killing of animals for the production of meat or fur must follow a standard procedure for maintaining good animal welfare. They should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different anesthetic methods, among other things, by checking that stunned animals do not regain consciousness before bleeding. Anesthetic equipment manufacturers must attach instructions on use, care and effect evaluation. Furthermore, all slaughterhouses over a certain size need to designate an animal welfare officer who has overall responsibility for compliance with animal welfare regulations and who malke sure that relevant measures are taken if this is not the case. Strict definitions of approved fixation, stunning and killing methods are also introduced. The Commission is empowered to adopt common guidelines for the construction, design and equipment of slaughterhouses to maintain good animal welfare and to ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurs. Great importance is also attached to animal welfare during livestock killing. Unacceptable killing methods are not allowed, except under exceptional situations in which human or veterinary contamination is threatened.

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

What does being the Swedish contact point entail?

What is SCAW's tasks and commitments under the regulation, as a contact point?

SCAW should act as an independent scientific support, directed to the competent authorities, the industry and to organizations. The contact point should assist with scientific and technical expertise for the approval of new slaughterhouses and for new stunning methods. The contact point should also ensure that exchanges are made with other countries' counterparts and with the Commission regarding technical as well as scientific information and best practices. Thus, SCAW will assist several competent authorities, mainly the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Central Competent Authority for animal welfare, the National Food Agency (responsible for the official veterinary control at slaughterhouses, and the regional County Administrative Boards (regional competent authorities carrying out animal welfare control on farms and at slaughterhouses).
The National Food Administration is the authority in Sweden that approves new slaughterhouses, which means that the National Food Administration can turn to SCAW for advice and scientific support. SCAW must also be able to give scientific opinions on the manuals that the slaughterhouses use, for example, for fixation and maintenance of  stunning equipment. These instructions should be provided by the manufacturers when new equipment is acquiresand, and should be written in a language that the recipient understands. It should also be available over the internet. Examination of these instructions should be done to ensure that they in practice comply with the legislator's requirements, for example that the stunning equipment used leads to adequate anesthesia. The contact point is also expected to write scientific opinions on the guidelines for good practice that the slaughter industry develops regarding animal handling, fixation, stunning and bleeding.

SCAW should assist and support the control authorities, that is, the county administrative boards and the National Food Administration in the application of the regulation, with regard to inspections, audits and in how to set up the control work. SCAW intends to hire an expert for these tasks.
According to the regulation, slaughterhouse personnel must undergo training to receive a certificate of competence. The Swedish Board of Agriculture, can assign the contact point to examine the organizations that wish to provide education and the examination service. The organizations must be suitable, have sufficient expertise and be free from conflicts of interest.

More material on slaugther and killing

SCAW's report related to animal welfare during slaughter and killing (in swedish)

Sveriges nationella kontaktpunkt enligt artikel 20 i rådets förordning (EG) nr 1099/2009 om skydd av djur vid tidpunkten för avlivning. 

EU material

National regulations are sometimes stricter than in the EU. If Swedish regulations are stricter, these are those that apply in Sweden. The EU material belown should therefore be seen as guidelines.


Guides for animal transport

Material from the comission on animal transport

A series of videos about animal welfare during transport are now presented by the European Commission. The films are shown on Youtube, see links below:

Good and Better practices in Pig Transport

Good and Better practices in Cattle Transport

Good and Better practices in Horse Transport

Good and Better practices in Sheep Transport


Protection of the animals at the time of slaughter

EU-document – Preparation of best practices on the protection of animals at the time of killing

Fact sheet on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter (other langauges available)

Video on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter (subtitles in other langauges available)


EFSA reports related to animal welfare during slaughter and killing

EFSA reports related to animal welfare during slaughter and killing














DISA - E-learning material

DISA - e-learning about Animal Welfare at the time of killing (DISA) in Swedish.

Short description of DISA in Swedish.

Material from courses and seminars

Nordic Workshop on on-farm killing of poultry, 3 May 2018

Killing poultry for disease control. Practical experience in The Netherlands. (Marien Gerritzen)

On farm killing of poultry for disease control. Whole house gassing. (Marien Gerritzen)

On farm killing of poultry for disease control. Contingency plans. (Marien Gerritzen)

Whole-house carbon dioxide killing of laying hens - practical experiences (Lotta Berg, Magnus Jeremiasson, Alexandra Jeremiasson)

Nitrogen Foam Delivery System (Julian Sparrey)

Hatcheries and individual birds (Julian Sparrey)

Containerised Gassing on Farm (Julian Sparrey)



Meetings for animal welfare officers at slaughterhouses for poultry and for beef, pigs and lamb, 2017

Course material (In Swedish):

Lotta Berg, SCAW:


Standardrutiner och kompetensbevis fjäderfä

Standardrutiner och kompetensbevis röda köttet

Bedömning av bedövningskvaliteten fjäderfä

Bedömning av bedövningskvaliteten röda köttet

Paula Quintana Fernandez, KRAV:

Presentation av KRAV

Mattias Gårdlund, Länsstyrelsen Skåne:


Naser Arzoomand, Livsmedelsverket:

Köttbesiktningsanmärkningar och slakterier som en källa till kunskap om djurhälsoläget.


Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia, 2015

15 July 2015, Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare (SCAW) organized a workshop at HSA International Symposium in Zagreb, Croatia.

Participants of the workshop were the National Contact Points* in Regulation No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. This was the first time the representatives met to exchange experiences and discuss issues on animal welfare at slaughter.

Here you can find material from the workshop:

SCAW, Useful links

Presentation Andrea Gervelmyer

Presentation Michael Marahrens

Presentation Antonio Velarde

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