Trading Standards Advice Leaflet

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Farming Standards Advice - Guidance Leaflets

Casualty slaughter - guidance for farmers and hauliers

Casualty animals must not be transported unless they are fit for the intended journey. In the case of doubt, veterinary advice should be sought. There is no obligation for a slaughterhouse to accept casualty animals and arrangements with the slaughterhouse management and official veterinarian must be made before sending in any such animal.

A live animal (if fit to be transported) known or suspected to be injured, or showing signs of abnormality, must be accompanied to a slaughterhouse by a food chain information declaration, completed by the owner or person in charge of the animal. An emergency slaughter declaration is required for animals slaughtered outside of a licensed slaughterhouse.

In the guide
Transporting of casualty animals
Documentation required under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

Transporting of casualty animals
Under the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 you must not transport an animal unless it is fit for the intended journey and suitable provision has been made for its care during the journey and on arrival at its destination.

In particular an animal is not considered fit for its intended journey if it is ill, injured, infirm or fatigued. However, where its condition is only 'slight' the animal may be transported providing the intended journey is not likely to cause unnecessary suffering.

No animal may be loaded by dragging or pushing by any means, or lifted by a mechanical device except under direct veterinary supervision for transport to the nearest available place for veterinary treatment.

If in doubt about fitness to travel, always consult a veterinary surgeon. Failure to comply with this order may result in a £5,000 fine and/or six months' imprisonment.

Note: There is no obligation for a slaughterhouse to accept casualty animals. Always check with the slaughterhouse prior to transporting any animal.

Documentation required under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

FOOD CHAIN INFORMATION DECLARATION
A live animal (if fit to be transported) known or suspected to be injured or showing signs of abnormality must be accompanied to a slaughterhouse by a food chain information declaration, completed by the owner or person in charge of the animal. This declaration identifies the animal and any veterinary medicinal products or other treatments administered to it within the last six months, including dates of administration and withdrawal periods. The disease status of the holding must also be declared.

A template FCI declaration is attached below:
Food chain information declaration (Word 106KB)
Food chain information declaration (PDF 107KB)

You must confirm your intention to send a live casualty animal to a slaughterhouse prior to transporting it to ensure that the slaughterhouse operator will accept the animal and that an official veterinarian (OV) will be available to carry out post-mortem examination. The food chain information declaration must be handed to the OV on arrival at the slaughterhouse.

Live casualty sheep/pigs must also be accompanied by a fully completed animal movement licence form for sheep and goats (AML1) and a haulier summary for pigs (using the eAML2 system). A valid cattle passport must accompany cattle. All livestock species must be correctly identified in accordance with the relevant legislation. This is the responsibility of the keeper.

EMERGENCY SLAUGHTER DECLARATION
Animals slaughtered outside a licensed slaughterhouse will only be eligible for human consumption if they were otherwise healthy animals that have suffered an accident and are unable to be transported live to a slaughterhouse for welfare reasons. Such animals must be examined by a veterinary surgeon ante-mortem and must then be accompanied by an emergency slaughter declaration completed by the animal owner (or his agent) and the veterinary surgeon that examined the animal subject to emergency slaughter.

A template emergency slaughter declaration is attached below:
Emergency slaughter declaration (Word 110KB)
Emergency slaughter declaration (PDF 184KB)

You must confirm your intention to send an animal subject to emergency slaughter with the slaughterhouse operator to ensure that it will be accepted and that an OV will be available to carry out post-mortem examination. The emergency slaughter declaration must be handed to the OV upon arrival at the slaughterhouse. An emergency slaughter declaration provides no guarantee that the OV will not identify any deficiencies that would make the meat unfit for human consumption.

Removal of the stomach and intestines, but no other dressing, may take place at the point of slaughter in the presence of the veterinarian. Any viscera removed must accompany the slaughtered animal to the slaughterhouse and be identified as belonging to that animal.

The slaughtered animal must be transported to the slaughterhouse hygienically and without undue delay. If it is likely that more than two hours will elapse between slaughter and arrival at the slaughterhouse, the body must be transported in a refrigerated vehicle, or climactic conditions must be appropriate.

Bovine animals over 48 months of age that have undergone emergency slaughter must have a brain stem sample (BSS) taken for BSE testing purposes in accordance with the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) Regulations 2010. Care should be taken to ensure that severe damage to the brain stem is avoided, as failure to obtain a suitable BSS will render the animal ineligible for the food chain.

Please note
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

Relevant legislation
Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006
Cattle Identification Regulations 2007
Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (England) Order 2009
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) Regulations 2010
Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2011
Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

Last reviewed/updated: February 2014

© 2014 itsa Ltd on behalf of the Trading Standards Institute.