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TITLE 9--ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS; CHAPTER III--FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; SUBCHAPTER A--AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION AND VOLUNTARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION; PART 313--HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF LIVESTOCK



Country of Origin: United States of America

Agency of Origin: Food Safety and Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture

National Citation: 9 C.F.R. 313.1 - 90



Last checked by Web Center Staff: 07/2013


Summary:   These regulations outline the requirements for the humane treatment of livestock prior to and during slaughter.  Included are the requirements for pens, holding, and transportation areas, and the special circumstances for transporting and holding "downed" (nonambulatory) livestock.  The regulations emphasize the minimization of "excitement and discomfort" to the livestock prior to transportation or slaughter.  Of special note are the requirements for humane methods of slaughter, including the use of carbon dioxide gas, captive bolt "stunners" and projectiles, gunshot, and electrical current.
Material in Full:

§ 313.1 Livestock pens, driveways and ramps.

(a) Livestock pens, driveways and ramps shall be maintained in good repair. They shall be free from sharp or protruding objects which may, in the opinion of the inspector, cause injury or pain to the animals. Loose boards, splintered or broken planking, and unnecessary openings where the head, feet, or legs of an animal may be injured shall be repaired.

(b) Floors of livestock pens, ramps, and driveways shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide good footing for livestock. Slip resistant or waffled floor surfaces, cleated ramps and the use of sand, as appropriate, during winter months are examples of acceptable construction and maintenance.

(c) U.S. Suspects (as defined in § 301.2(xxx)) and dying, diseased, and disabled livestock (as defined in § 301.2(y)) shall be provided with a covered pen sufficient, in the opinion of the inspector, to protect them from the adverse climatic conditions of the locale while awaiting disposition by the inspector.

(d) Livestock pens and driveways shall be so arranged that sharp corners and direction reversal of driven animals are minimized.

[53 FR 49848, Dec. 12, 1988]

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.2 Handling of livestock.

(a) Driving of livestock from the unloading ramps to the holding pens and from the holding pens to the stunning area shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Livestock shall not be forced to move faster than a normal walking speed.

(b) Electric prods, canvas slappers, or other implements employed to drive animals shall be used as little as possible in order to minimize excitement and injury. Any use of such implements which, in the opinion of the inspector, is excessive, is prohibited. Electrical prods attached to AC house current shall be reduced by a transformer to the lowest effective voltage not to exceed 50 volts AC.

(c) Pipes, sharp or pointed objects, and other items which, in the opinion of the inspector, would cause injury or unnecessary pain to the animal shall not be used to drive livestock.

(d) Disabled livestock and other animals unable to move.

(1) Disabled animals and other animals unable to move shall be separated from normal ambulatory animals and placed in the covered pen provided for in § 313.1(c).

(2) The dragging of disabled animals and other animals unable to move, while conscious, is prohibited. Stunned animals may, however, be dragged.

(3) Disabled animals and other animals unable to move may be moved, while conscious, on equipment suitable for such purposes; e.g., stone boats.

(e) Animals shall have access to water in all holding pens and, if held longer than 24 hours, access to feed. There shall be sufficient room in the holding pen for animals held overnight to lie down.

(f) Stunning methods approved in § 313.30 shall be effectively applied to animals prior to their being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.5 Chemical; carbon dioxide.

The slaughtering of sheep, calves and swine with the use of carbon dioxide gas and the handling in connection therewith, in compliance with the provisions contained in this section, are hereby designated and approved as humane methods of slaughtering and handling of such animals under the Act.

(a) Administration of gas, required effect; handling.

(1) The carbon dioxide gas shall be administered in a chamber in accordance with this section so as to produce surgical anesthesia in the animals before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. The animals shall be exposed to the carbon dioxide gas in a way that will accomplish the anesthesia quickly and calmly, with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. In swine, carbon dioxide may be administered to induce death in the animals before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.

(2) The driving or conveying of the animals to the carbon dioxide chamber shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the anesthesia chamber is essential since the induction, or early phase, of anesthesia is less violent with docile animals. Among other things this requires that, in driving animals to the anesthesia chamber, electrical equipment be used as little as possible and with the lowest effective voltage.

(3) On emerging from the carbon dioxide tunnel, the animals shall be in a state of surgical anaesthesia and shall remain in this condition throughout shackling, sticking, and bleeding, except for swine in which death has been induced by the administration of carbon dioxide. Asphyxia or death from any cause shall not be produced in animals before bleeding, except for swine in which death has been induced by the administration of carbon dioxide.

(b) Facilities and procedures--

(1) General requirements for gas chambers and auxiliary equipment; operator.

(i) The carbon dioxide gas shall be administered in a tunnel which is designed to permit the effective exposure of the animal. Two types of tunnels, based on the same principle, are in common use for carbon dioxide anesthesia. They are the “U” type tunnel and the “Straight Line” type tunnel, and are based on the principle that carbon dioxide gas has a higher specific gravity than air. The tunnels are open at both ends for entry and exit of animals and have a depressed central section. Anesthetizing, or, in the case of swine, death-inducing, carbon dioxide concentrations are maintained in the central sections of the tunnels. Effective anaesthetization is produced in these central sections. Animals are driven from holding pens through pathways constructed of large-diameter pipe or smooth metal and onto continuous conveyor devices that move the animals through the tunnels. The animals are either compartmentalized on the conveyors by mechanical impellers synchronized with the conveyor or they are otherwise prevented from crowding. While impellers are used to compartmentalize the animals, mechanically or manually operated gates are used to move the animals onto the conveyors. Surgically anaesthetized animals, or killed swine, are moved out of the tunnels by the same continuous conveyors that moved them into and through the carbon dioxide gas.

(ii) Flow of animals into and through the carbon dioxide chamber is dependent on one operator. The operation or stoppage of the conveyor is entirely dependent upon this operator. It is necessary that he be skilled, attentive, and aware of his responsibility. Overdosages and death of animals can be brought about by carelessness of this individual.

(2) Special requirements for gas chamber and auxiliary equipment. The ability of anesthetizing equipment to perform with maximum efficiency is dependent on its proper design and efficient mechanical operation. Pathways, compartments, gas chambers, and all other equipment used must be designed to accommodate properly the species of animals being anesthetized. They shall be free from pain-producing restraining devices. Injury of animals must be prevented by the elimination of sharp projections or exposed wheels or gears. There shall be no unnecessary holes, spaces or openings where feet or legs of animals may be injured. Impellers or other devices designed to mechanically move or drive animals or otherwise keep them in motion or compartmentalized shall be constructed of flexible or well padded rigid material. Power activated gates designed for constant flow of animals to anesthetizing equipment shall be so fabricated that they will not cause injury. All equipment involved in anesthetizing animals shall be maintained in good repair.

(3) Gas. Maintenance of a uniform carbon dioxide concentration and distribution in the anesthesia chamber is a vital aspect of producing surgical anesthesia. This may be assured by reasonably accurate instruments which sample and analyze carbon dioxide gas concentration within the chamber throughout anesthetizing operations. Gas concentration shall be maintained uniform so that the degree of anesthesia in exposed animals will be constant. Carbon dioxide gas supplied to anesthesia chambers may be from controlled reduction of solid carbon dioxide or from a controlled liquid source. In either case the carbon dioxide shall be supplied at a rate sufficient to anesthetize adequately and uniformly the number of animals passing through the chamber. Sampling of gas for analysis shall be made from a representative place or places within the chamber and on a continuing basis. Gas concentrations and exposure time shall be graphically recorded throughout each day's operation. Neither carbon dioxide nor atmospheric air used in the anesthesia chambers shall contain noxious or irritating gases. Each day before equipment is used for anesthetizing animals, proper care shall be taken to mix adequately the gas and air within the chamber. All gas producing and control equipment shall be maintained in good repair and all indicators, instruments, and measuring devices must be available for inspection by Program inspectors during anesthetizing operations and at other times. An exhaust system must be provided so that, in case of equipment failure, non-uniform carbon dioxide concentrations in the gas tunnel or contamination of the ambient air of the establishment will be prevented.

[59 FR 21640, April 26, 1994]

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.15 Mechanical; captive bolt.

The slaughtering of sheep, swine, goats, calves, cattle, horses, mules, and other equines by using captive bolt stunners and the handling in connection therewith, in compliance with the provisions contained in this section, are hereby designated and approved as humane methods of slaughtering and handling of such animals under the Act.

(a) Application of stunners, required effect; handling.

(1) The captive bolt stunners shall be applied to the livestock in accordance with this section so as to produce immediate unconsciousness in the animals before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. The animals shall be stunned in such a manner that they will be rendered unconscious with a minimum of excitement and discomfort.

(2) The driving of the animals to the stunning area shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the stunning areas is essential since accurate placement of stunning equipment is difficult on nervous or injured animals. Among other things, this requires that, in driving animals to the stunning areas, electrical equipment be used as little as possible and with the lowest effective voltage.

(3) Immediately after the stunning blow is delivered the animals shall be in a state of complete unconsciousness and remain in this condition throughout shackling, sticking and bleeding.

(b) Facilities and procedures--

(1) General requirements for stunning facilities; operator.

(i) Acceptable captive bolt stunning instruments may be either skull penetrating or nonpenetrating. The latter type is also described as a concussion or mushroom type stunner. Penetrating instruments on detonation deliver bolts of varying diameters and lengths through the skull and into the brain. Unconsciousness is produced immediately by physical brain destruction and a combination of changes in intracranial pressure and acceleration concussion. Nonpenetrating or mushroom stunners on detonation deliver a bolt with a flattened circular head against the external surface of the animal's head over the brain. Diameter of the striking surface of the stunner may vary as conditions require. Unconsciousness is produced immediately by a combination of acceleration concussion and changes in intracranial pressures. A combination instrument utilizing both penetrating and nonpenetrating principles is acceptable. Energizing of instruments may be accomplished by detonation of measured charges of gunpowder or accurately controlled compressed air. Captive bolts shall be of such size and design that, when properly positioned and activated, immediate unconsciousness is produced.

(ii) To assure uniform unconsciousness with every blow, compressed air devices must be equipped to deliver the necessary constant air pressure and must have accurate, constantly operating air pressure gauges. Gauges must be easily read and conveniently located for use by the stunning operator and the inspector. For purposes of protecting employees, inspectors, and others, it is desirable that any stunning device be equipped with safety features to prevent injuries from accidental discharge. Stunning instruments must be maintained in good repair.

(iii) The stunning area shall be so designed and constructed as to limit the free movements of animals sufficiently to allow the operator to locate the stunning blow with a high degree of accuracy. All chutes, alleys, gates and restraining mechanisms between and including holding pens and stunning areas shall be free from pain-producing features such as exposed bolt ends, loose boards, splintered or broken planking, and protruding sharp metal of any kind. There shall be no unnecessary holes or other openings where feet or legs of animals may be injured. Overhead drop gates shall be suitably covered on the bottom edge to prevent injury on contact with animals. Roughened or cleated cement shall be used as flooring in chutes leading to stunning areas to reduce falls of animals. Chutes, alleys, and stunning areas shall be so designed that they will comfortably accommodate the kinds of animals to be stunned.

(iv) The stunning operation is an exacting procedure and requires a well-trained and experienced operator. He must be able to accurately place the stunning instrument to produce immediate unconsciousness. He must use the correct detonating charge with regard to kind, breed, size, age, and sex of the animal to produce the desired results.

(2) Special requirements and prohibitions.

(i) Choice of instrument and force required to produce immediate unconsciousness varies, depending on kind, breed, size, age, and sex of the animal. Young swine, lambs, and calves usually require less stunning force than mature animals of the same kind. Bulls, rams, and boars usually require skull penetration to produce immediate unconsciousness. Charges suitable for smaller kinds of livestock such as swine or for young animals are not acceptably interchanged for use on larger kinds or older livestock, respectively.

(ii) Captive bolt stunners that deliberately inject compressed air into the cranium at the end of the penetration cycle shall not be used to stun cattle.

[69 FR 1891, Jan. 12, 2004; 72 FR 38729, July 13, 2007]

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.16 Mechanical; gunshot.

The slaughtering of cattle, calves, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines by shooting with firearms and the handling in connection therewith, in compliance with the provisions contained in this section, are hereby designated and approved as humane methods of slaughtering and handling of such animals under the Act.

(a) Utilization of firearms, required effect; handling.

(1) The firearms shall be employed in the delivery of a bullet or projectile into the animal in accordance with this section so as to produce immediate unconsciousness in the animal by a single shot before it is shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. The animal shall be shot in such a manner that they will be rendered unconscious with a minimum of excitement and discomfort.

(2) The driving of the animals to the shooting areas shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the shooting area is essential since accurate placement of the bullet is difficult in case of nervous or injured animals. Among other things, this requires that, in driving animals to the shooting areas, electrical equipment be used as little as possible and with the lowest effective voltage.

(3) Immediately after the firearm is discharged and the projectile is delivered, the animal shall be in a state of complete unconsciousness and remain in this condition throughout shackling, sticking and bleeding.

(b) Facilities and procedure--

(1) General requirements for shooting facilities; operator.

(i) On discharge, acceptable firearms dispatch free projectiles or bullets of varying sizes and diameters through the skull and into the brain. Unconsciousness is produced immediately by a combination of physical brain destruction and changes in intracranial pressure. Caliber of firearms shall be such that when properly aimed and discharged, the projectile produces immediate unconsciousness.

(ii) To assure uniform unconsciousness of the animal with every discharge where small-bore firearms are employed, it is necessary to use one of the following type projectiles: Hollow pointed bullets; frangible iron plastic composition bullets; or powdered iron missiles. When powdered iron missiles are used, the firearms shall be in close proximity with the skull of the animal when fired. Firearms must be maintained in good repair. For purposes of protecting employees, inspectors and others, it is desirable that all firearms be equipped with safety devices to prevent injuries from accidental discharge. Aiming and discharging of firearms should be directed away from operating areas.

(iii) The provisions contained in § 313.15(b)(1)(iii) with respect to the stunning area also apply to the shooting area.

(iv) The shooting operation is an exacting procedure and requires a well-trained and experienced operator. He must be able to accurately direct the projectile to produce immediate unconsciousness. He must use the correct caliber firearm, powder charge and type of ammunition to produce the desired results.

(2) Special requirements. Choice of firearms and ammunition with respect to caliber and choice of powder charge required to produce immediate unconsciousness of the animal may vary depending on age and sex of the animal. In the case of bulls, rams, and boars, small bore firearms may be used provided they are able to produce immediate unconsciousness of the animals. Small bore firearms are usually effective for stunning other cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, and calves, horses, and mules.

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.30 Electrical; stunning or slaughtering with electric current.

The slaughtering of swine, sheep, calves, cattle, and goats with the use of electric current and the handling in connection therewith, in compliance with the provisions contained in this section, are hereby designated and approved as humane methods of slaughtering and handling of such animals under the Act.

(a) Administration of electric current, required effect; handling.

(1) The electric current shall be administered so as to produce, at a minimum, surgical anesthesia, i.e., a state where the animal feels no painful sensation. The animals shall be either stunned or killed before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. They shall be exposed to the electric current in a way that will accomplish the desired result quickly and effectively, with a minimum of excitement and discomfort.

(2) The driving or conveying of the animals to the place of application of electric current shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the place of application is essential to ensure rapid and effective insensibility. Among other things, this requires that, in driving animals to the place of application, electrical equipment be used as little as possible and with the lowest effective voltage.

(3) The quality and location of the electrical shock shall be such as to produce immediate insensibility to pain in the exposed animal.

(4) The stunned animal shall remain in a state of surgical anesthesia through shackling, sticking, and bleeding.

(b) Facilities and procedures; operator--

(1) General requirements for operator. It is necessary that the operator of electric current application equipment be skilled, attentive, and aware of his or her responsibility.

(2) Special requirements for electric current application equipment. The ability of electric current equipment to perform with maximum efficiency is dependent on its proper design and efficient mechanical operation. Pathways, compartments, current applicators, and all other equipment used must be designed to properly accommodate the species of animals being anesthetized. Animals shall be free from pain-producing restraining devices. Injury of animals must be prevented by the elimination of sharp projections or exposed wheels or gears. There shall be no unnecessary holes, spaces or openings where feet or legs of animals may be injured. Impellers or other devices designed to mechanically move or drive animals or otherwise keep them in motion or compartmentalized shall be constructed of flexible or padded material. Power activated gates designed for constant flow of animals shall be so fabricated that they will not cause injury. All equipment used to apply and control the electrical current shall be maintained in good repair, and all indicators, instruments, and measuring devices shall be available for inspection by Program inspectors during the operation and at other times.

(3) Electric current. Each animal shall be given a sufficient application of electric current to ensure surgical anesthesia throughout the bleeding operation. Suitable timing, voltage and current control devices shall be used to ensure that each animal receives the necessary electrical charge to produce immediate unconsciousness. The current shall be applied so as to avoid the production of hemorrhages or other tissue changes which could interfere with inspection procedures.

[50 FR 25202, June 18, 1985]

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.50 Tagging of equipment, alleyways, pens, or compartments to prevent inhumane slaughter or handling in connection with slaughter

When an inspector observes an incident of inhumane slaughter or handling in connection with slaughter, he/she shall inform the establishment operator of the incident and request that the operator take the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence. If the establishment operator fails to take such action or fails to promptly provide the inspector with satisfactory assurances that such action will be taken, the inspector shall follow the procedures specified in paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section, as appropriate.

(a) If the cause of inhumane treatment is the result of facility deficiencies, disrepair, or equipment breakdown, the inspector shall attach a “U.S. Rejected” tag thereto. No equipment, alleyway, pen or compartment so tagged shall be used until made acceptable to the inspector. The tag shall not be removed by anyone other than an inspector. All livestock slaughtered prior to such tagging may be dressed, processed, or prepared under inspection.

(b) If the cause of inhumane treatment is the result of establishment employee actions in the handling or moving of livestock, the inspector shall attach a “U.S. Rejected” tag to the alleyways leading to the stunning area. After the tagging of the alleyway, no more livestock shall be moved to the stunning area until the inspector receives satisfactory assurances from the establishment operator that there will not be a recurrence. The tag shall not be removed by anyone other than an inspector. All livestock slaughtered prior to the tagging may be dressed, processed, or prepared under inspection.

(c) If the cause of inhumane treatment is the result of improper stunning, the inspector shall attach a “U.S. Rejected” tag to the stunning area. Stunning procedures shall not be resumed until the inspector receives satisfactory assurances from the establishment operator that there will not be a recurrence. The tag shall not be removed by anyone other than an inspector. All livestock slaughtered prior to such tagging may be dressed, processed, or prepared under inspection.

SOURCE: 44 FR 68813, Nov. 30, 1979; 56 FR 3195, Jan. 29, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 1901–1906; 21 U.S.C. 601–695; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.55.

 

§ 313.90 [Reserved]

 



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