France : Organic farming certification by Ecocert for slaughter without stunning



Ecocert like to make the following clarifications regarding the organic certification  issued 
recently for beef slaughter which was performed without stunning.

1. The regulation on organic production provides that "any
suffering, including mutilation, is minimized throughout
of life of the animal, including at slaughter "(Article 14 1.b) viii) of Regulation
EC 834/2007).
But it does not define the concept of 'suffering reduced to a minimum ", in
including the slaughter. And if certain farming practices are expressly
authorized, prohibited or conditioned (eg tethering animals, feeding, etc ...), this
is not the case for slaughter, for which no practical is not placed or
prohibited by the regulation on organic farming.

It is therefore appropriate to refer to the general regulations on this subject, which
states that "every precaution must be taken to spare
all animals excitement, pain or suffering avoidable during operations
(...) Slaughter or killing "(Article R214-65 of the Code Rural and Fishing
maritime), and authorizes the slaughter without stunning in the context of slaughter
ritual (Article R214-70 I.1).

A decree of December 28, 2011, applicable since 1 July 2012 has created a
system of prior authorization to carry out the slaughter without stunning
(Article R214-70 III). Strict conditions are asked to obtain this
prior authorization, in particular to minimize the suffering of the animal.

It is moreover emphasized what Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire,
during a press conference on March 8, 2012 on ritual slaughter that detailed
the conditions for obtaining prior authorization laying down the principle that
"Slaughter without stunning should be made particularly in slaughterhouses
after immobilization of the animal, complying with all measures relating
animal welfare ".

Thus, "the operator must have SOPs describing the
measures applied in the slaughterhouse to ensure compliance with animal protection
and the welfare of animals slaughtered, "including: support of the animal and
its immobilization until loss of consciousness, characteristics
equipment and checking its correct operation, trained personnel protection


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