Emergency Slaughter

The Government, through the Public Abattoir, provides livestock breeders with a 24x7 on-farm emergency slaughtering service for instances where an unforeseen, on farm malady to one or more farm animals results in a state that calls for immediate action by an official Government Veterinarian and slaughter of that animal by authorised abattoir butchers.

The service is provided for large farm animals for which slaughtering services is also provided by the Public Abattoir, that is bovine, swine, small ruminants and equines (the latter provided they are on farm and being reared for human consumption). The service is provided in line with European and National legislation and the Government’s animal welfare goals, to minimise the risk that ill/injured animals which are not expected to recover suffer unnecessarily.

In case of an emergency, livestock breeders are required to call the Emergency slaughtering Services line on a 24 x 7 basis. All calls are screened to ensure that the service being asked for is actually related to on-farm emergency slaughter. Upon confirmation, an ‘Emergency Response Team’ composed of an official Veterinarian as well as the on-call butchers are dispatched to the indicated address.

On-site, the veterinarian carries an ante-mortem inspection to determine a prima facie, potential suitability for human consumption. Carcases not deemed so suitable are stunned, slaughtered and condemned with the carcase being taken to the waste thermal treatment facility by the livestock breeder. Carcases considered which may be suitable for human consumption are stunned and slaughtered on site following stringent animal welfare and hygiene standards. Following some initial dressing, such as the removal of the offal, carcases are transported from the farm in question to the Public Abattoir where a post-mortem inspection and other applicable laboratory tests are carried out to confirm suitability for human consumption.