Pig Stunning

Pig stunning

Effective, humane pig stunning

Carbon dioxide pig stunning: Rapid, non-reversible, stunning for humane high-efficiency quality meat production

Increasingly, in larger slaughter houses in the UK and elsewhere, carbon dioxide is being used for the stunning and killing of pigs. For large operations with high throughput rates (eg 800 per hour), this is often the most reliable slaughter method for ensuring consistency in terms of good welfare and quality.

Stunning pigs prior to their slaughter is a regulatory requirement in many European countries. For over 20 years now, Praxair has partnered with Europe’s leading pork meat packing and processing companies to optimise their processes and support their profitable growth.

 Stunning pigs by exposure to carbon dioxide has several advantages over the stunning by electro narcosis:

  • Reliability
  • Animal welfare – carbon dioxide stunning is non-aversive and irreversible
  • Meat quality - minimising stress and the formation of blood spots
  • Improved working conditions for slaughterhouse staff
  • Savings due to a highly efficient process

CO2 pig stunning procedure

Respect for animal welfare, improved meat quality and complete compliance with relevant regulations

Ensuring the well-being of the pig leading up to and including its stunning and slaughter is imperative for meat quality reasons, as well as for ethical reasons. In the pig stunning process using CO2, pigs are conveyed in pits where the atmosphere is saturated with carbon dioxide. The stunning pit must be filled very rapidly to ensure efficient processing and humane stunning. The correct sizing of CO2 spraying systems and piping is essential. The carbon dioxide concentration must be at least 70% by volume in order to rapidly and completely stun and desensitise the pig to be slaughtered. The pit must be fitted with devices measuring gas concentrations at point of maximum exposure. The system must also give visual and / or audible warning signals if the concentration of carbon dioxide falls below the required levels. Maintaining a reliable and high level of CO2 concentration in the stunning pit is key to ensuring a reliable and non-reversible stunning level, and rapid processing speeds. Praxair has the know-how to help you implement and optimise your pig stunning operation.