The following highlights the parts of the OIE guidelines most pertinent to animal-welfare at slaughter. To view the complete OIE chapter on this subject, click HERE.
In Chapter 7.5. of the OIE Code you find the following recommendations regarding general conditions and treatment of animals, as well as distractions in the raceway and the chute.
4. Distractions and their removal
Distractions that may cause approaching animals to stop, baulk or turn back should be designed out from new facilities or removed from existing ones. Below are examples of common distractions and methods for eliminating them:
a) reflections on shiny metal or wet floors – move a lamp or change lighting;
b) dark entrances to chutes, races, stun boxes or conveyor restrainers – illuminate with indirect lighting which does not shine directly into the eyes of approaching animals or create areas of sharp contrast;
c) animals seeing moving people or equipment up ahead – install solid sides on chutes and races or install shields;
f) uneven floors or a sudden drop in floor levels at the entrance to conveyor restrainers – avoid uneven floor surfaces or install a solid false floor under the restrainer to provide an illusion of a solid and continuous walking surface;
h) clanging and banging of metal objects – install rubber stops on gates and other devices to reduce metal to metal contact;
e) Animals should be handled in such a way as to avoid harm, distress or injury. Under no circumstances should animal handlers resort to violent acts to move animals, such as crushing or breaking tails of animals, grasping their eyes or pulling them by the ears. Animal handlers should never apply an injurious object or irritant substance to animals and especially not to sensitive areas such as eyes, mouth, ears, and genital region or belly.
4. Provisions relevant to restraining and containing animals
a) Provisions relevant to restraining animals for stunning or slaughter without stunning, to help maintain animal welfare, include:
i) provision of a non-slippery floor;
ii) avoidance of excessive pressure applied by restraining equipment that causes struggling or vocalisation in animals;
iv) absence of sharp edges in restraining equipment that would harm animals;
b) Methods of restraint causing avoidable suffering should not be used in conscious animals because they cause severe pain and stress:
i) suspending or hoisting animals (other than poultry) by the feet or legs;
iv) breaking legs, cutting leg tendons or blinding animals in order to immobilise them;