Improving the poultry shackle line
The most significant welfare problems associated with the current design of the shackle lines and water-bath stunners are the pain caused by compression of the birds' legs in the shackles, the stress caused by being inverted and suspended by the legs, poor or inadequate stunning caused by the commercial need to minimise carcase damage, and poor water-bath entry. Research is described in which some practical solutions to these problems were investigated. The aim is to identify solutions that individually, or jointly, could be retro-fitted to existing plants, or incorporated into the design of new, small processing plants to improve poultry welfare. The development and commercial availability of such systems would enable small, local and niche market poultry processing lines to continue operating following the implementation of EC Council Regulation No 1099/2009.
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