EU Commission Study on various methods of stunning for poultry

Title: Study on various methods of stunning for poultry, Final report

Date: 2014

Link of the study:


Executive summary 

Under Article 27(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1099/09, the Commission must report to the European Council and the Parliament on the various stunning methods for poultry no later than December 8, 2013. In 2004, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended that water bath stunning of  poultry be phased out on the basis that the live shackling of birds is detrimental to animal welfare and that birds are occasionally not stunned prior to slaughter using this method (EFSA, 2004). 
 In order to meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1099/09 and to address the EFSA 
recommendation, DG SANCO launched a study on the various methods of stunning poultry. The contract was awarded to the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium under the leadership of Agra CEAS Consulting. The purpose of the work was to investigate the scale of the use of multiple-bird water bath stunners, the possible alternatives and their respective socio-economic and environmental impacts. Additionally, the study had to examine if phasing out the use of water bath stunning as recommended by EFSA is a feasible option and, if so, under which terms. The study was limited in scope to the following species: broilers, laying hens, parent stock, turkeys and turkey parent stock. 
The study was carried out during the calendar year 2012. Data to address the issues of the study were primarily collected through a literature review, semi-structured stakeholder interviews1, case studies in nine Member States and three different surveys (industry, Competent Authority and slaughterhouse). 
The study followed the classical study steps of structuring, observing, analysing and judging.