Currently, the demand for pork is increasing worldwide. That’s why pork processing and production plants are increasing day by day. The pigs after meeting in terms of breeding time, weight, health… are taken to the slaughterhouse and factory for processing. And during such slaughter, are they painful? Well, if this is your question or concern, don’t worry! Now there is a humane method of slaughtering cattle that is painless and is done very quickly.
What is Humane Slaughter?
Humane slaughter is a scientific process that ensures the welfare of animals from the moment they are brought home, stunning and bleeding. Slaughter must be done without suffering for the cattle. Humane conditions are introduced during ante-mortem handling. In the act of slaughter, it is essential to remain unconscious or unconscious until the bleeding stops, ensuring complete painlessness.
Transporting pigs to the abattoir
Once market weight is achieved, the pigs are transported to the abattoir. This is typically at around 5 to 6 months of age. It is important to keep pigs calm along their journey. Producers transport pigs with a lot of care and extra consideration. This includes:
* Ensuring pigs are “fit to load” before being removed from their pen or paddock and walked onto the truck or trailer. This means that only pigs which are healthy and uninjured are loaded for transport to market
* Co-ordinating animal truck movements with transporters and farmers to avoid extreme temperatures and weather conditions. It is important to keep pigs cool during transportation. This is done by:
– Providing shade – trucks provide shade using tarpaulins or shade cloth
– Misters – some trucks have spray misters to keep the pigs cool in hot weather
– Increasing wind movement – pigs naturally pant (like dogs) to lose heat and are cooled by the wind
– Reducing the number of pigs loaded also keeps pigs cool and allows more air movement between them
– Having the appropriate PigPass documents and identification to ensure the pig movement can be traced
Animal welfare has top priority. First, the herd is allowed to recover from the journey.
After they’ve been allowed to settle down, the abattoir employees lead the animals to the stunning installation, slowly and in small groups. In the gondola, the pigs are put under a CO2 atmosphere for over 2 minutes to be anaesthetised. Specially trained personnel check the eyelid reflex to see whether the sedation is deep enough and is working properly. The animals are hung by their legs. The sedated animals are killed by stabbing them.
Pork processing process and quality control
The next step is processing the carcasses into meat products. In one smooth cut, employees open the carcass and hygienically remove the gastrointestinal tract. The intestine, for instance, is later used in organ processing for the production of sausages. Next, the heart, lungs, windpipe, liver and other organs are cut out.
A lot of the conveyor belt work in the abattoir is carried out by hand, but digitisation has also reached the meat processing industry. The provenance, quality of the meat and health of every pig is registered electronically. An ear tag provides information on the animal’s provenance. The data are registered. This way, it is possible to trace what has happened to an animal during its life. These data may be very important later, in the event that any abnormalities are found.
Carcasses that have passed the inspection without any findings are given an official stamp. This completes slaughter and the official meat inspection. A conveyor belt transports the carcasses to large cold stores where, over a period of several hours, the meat is cooled down from 37 degrees to below seven degrees Celsius. Once the correct temperature has been reached, the rough cutting of the halves into hams, shoulders and middles begins.
Many customers want the meat to be supplied in smaller portions. So this is when butchers lining the conveyor belt set to work with their sharp knives. They cut the meat from the bone and cut fillets, chops, bellies, spareribs or shreds for sausage production.