Stunning in groups with CO2

Before slaughtering, the pigs are stunned with an air mixture containing CO2. More than 95% of Danish slaughter pigs are also stunned in groups in order to make greater allowance for the natural behaviour of the animals.

The stunning is performed with a mixture of air and CO2 (85-90% CO2). CO2 is a type of air found naturally in atmospheric air in a concentration of 0.04%.

At most of the Danish abattoirs, systems for stunning in groups are in place designed to utilise the natural behaviour of the animals at unloading and driving. The animals are driven gently in groups of five to eight animals from the waiting pen to the stunning box by means of automatic driving.

This means that aggressive behaviour and injuries to the animals are seldom and that the animals walk by themselves into the stunning box. After the stunning, the animals are tipped onto a table and are then hung up and cut up. In total, more than 95% of Danish slaughter pigs are stunned this way.

In Denmark, we have chosen CO2 stunning because this type of stunning:

  • Has a safe and effective stunning effect
  • Utilises the pigs’ natural behaviour in the driving to the stunning
  • Is gentle on the pigs
  • Allows handling in groups to and at the stunning
  • Does not require the use of electrical driving sticks (at stunning in groups)
  • Involves a minimum of discomfort for the animals
  • Does not affect the quality of the meat and does not leave residues
  • Means increased safety for the staff due to relaxed carcasses