Despite digitalization and modern machinery – high quality in meat production requires a great deal of work by hand.
Animal welfare in food production does not merely mean ensuring that the animals have a comfortable life on the farm. It also means – first and foremost – making sure that the livestock experience as little stress and pain as possible during the actual slaughtering and processing operation.
The processing operation begins with the transport. This means as of the moment when the animals leave their farms and make their way towards the slaughtering and processing plants. The transport times are clearly regulated according to the respective animal. For example, a Micarna Optigal chicken may only be in transport for a maximum of three hours. The transport is carried out exclusively by trained specialists and the respective rearing methods are always taken into account. This means, for example, that pigs are transported in their accustomed groups. The stress factor for the animals can be further minimised in this way. Calves and cattle also have access to food and water.
Anaesthesia is part of actual slaughtering process. In Switzerland it is prohibited to slaughter animals without professional anesthetization. The anesthetization methods vary according to the type of animal. Chickens, for example, are anesthetized by means of an electrical water bath, pigs using a CO2 mixture, and cattle and calves by means of a bolt shot. The entire slaughtering procedure, including proper anesthetization, is monitored by an independent veterinarian for all animals.
The animals die by bleeding out. Once anesthetization is complete, the so-called “stabbing” takes places, which causes the animals to quickly bleed out without regaining consciousness. Along with the anesthetization, the dispatching process is also monitored by an independent veterinarian.