This page provides background information and practical knowledge on stunning and bleeding, how this relates to pig welfare, and how to minimise welfare problems.

All steps, i.e. moving into the stunner, restraint, stunning and killing by bleeding must be executed while minimising fear, pain and distress for the animals being slaughtered.

The main stunning methods employed in the slaughter of pigs are electrical stunning and CO2 stunning. The latter falls into the category Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS).

Handling directly related to stunning and killing involves moving animals such that they can be restrained for stunning. This differs between the two main methods of stunning.

The key areas for relevant for pig welfare at the time of stunning and killing are therefore:

  • Handling prior to stunning
  • Electrical stunning
  • Controlled Atmosphere Stunning using CO2
  • Bleeding (killing)