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Some areas and countries of the world have instated legislation to protect the welfare of animals during slaughter and killing.

For example, in Europe the key legislation is Council Regulation (EC) No. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, which has applied since 1 January 2013.

The major provision of the European regulation is that animals shall be spared any avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations (eg handling, lairage, restraint, stunning and bleeding).


Around the world, there may be variation between the legal requirements of some areas or countries. For example:

  • The possibility to implement stricter national rules under Article 26 of EC Regulation 1099/2009 means that member states of the European Union may differ in some aspects of their national legislation protecting animal welfare at the time of killing.
  • In the United Kingdom, each of the separate countries (ie England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) may, through their devolved administrations, implement separate national legislation to deal with aspects of the European law.


It is therefore critical that viewers of this online guide are aware of all the rules in their country of operation, and any country to which they export products, because it is not feasible to list them all in this guide. Where possible, to assist viewers, some references are made to European law.



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