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Radio 4 Farming Today

12 February 2021

HSA CEO Dr Huw Golledge appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme this morning (12 Feb 2021) to discuss HSA-funded research into Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS), carbon dioxide (CO2) and the continued search for a more humane alternative for stunning pigs.

During the interview Huw discussed why CO2, which is routinely used to stun pigs in commercial abattoirs, has welfare issues and some of the alternatives currently under consideration as well as the outcome from the latest research into LAPS. 

He said: “The HSA has taken a particular interest in the welfare concerns around the use of carbon dioxide for stunning animals at slaughter.  We’ve been especially keen to encourage the search for alternatives which may be more humane than CO2 and funded research into potential options.

As early as 2003 the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) recommended that the use of high concentration CO2 be phased out. One reason this has not occurred is that it is often argued there is a lack of a demonstrably humane alternative to CO2 which is also practical and economical. 

You can listen to the interview here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000s2sk and find out more about the HSA’s work on the welfare of pigs at slaughter here https://www.hsa.org.uk/news-events/news/post/60-welfare-of-pigs-at-slaughter

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