Killing (cutting up)

At Danish abattoirs, pigs are killed after stunning with CO2 by cutting off the carotid artery followed by bleeding.

When the stunned pigs get out of the CO2 facility, one of their hind legs is placed in a special chain and the entire carcass is lifted up so that it hangs in the chain. The animal hangs with its head downwards and immediately both carotid arteries are cut off so that the animal is bled without it regaining consciousness.

If the blood is to be collected to be used for human consumption, the animal is tattooed with a number that corresponds to the batch (25-30 pigs) from where the blood is collected. This enables trackability so that the blood batch can be discarded if a pig is not approved for consumption. During the bleeding, citrate is added in order to avoid coagulation of the blood.

Daily inspection of stunning and killing
The abattoir’s self-control system performs daily spot checks to ensure that the stunning and the subsequent cutting up is performed correctly. The pigs are checked for lack of life signs and absent reflexes at contact with the cornea. The result is documented in the self-control system.

The result of the abattoir’s self-control is assessed regularly by the veterinarian.