S.I. No. 599/2008 - Slaughter of Animals Act 1935 (Approved Instruments) Order 2008

S.I. No. 599 of 2008


Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 16th January, 2009.

WHEREAS Council Directive 93/119/EC of 22 December 1993 on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter1 was given effect to by the European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations 2008 ( S.I. No. 14 of 2008 );

AND WHEREAS no further measures have been implemented, consequent to subparagraph (a), (b) or (c) of Article 13(2) of that Council Directive, in respect of procedures to either stun or kill animals in a humane manner;

AND WHEREAS paragraph (d) of the said Article 13(2) provides that pending implementation of paragraphs (b) and (c) of that Article, national rules in the matter shall apply, in compliance with the general provisions of the Treaty;

NOW, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 16 of the Slaughter of Animals Act 1935 (No. 45 of 1935) as adapted by the Agriculture and Food (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2007 ( S.I. No. 705 of 2007 ), hereby order as follows:

1. This Order may be cited as the Slaughter of Animals Act 1935 (Approved Instruments) Order 2008.

2. In this Order—

“chamber” shall be construed in accordance with Article 3 and Schedule 1,

“registered veterinary practitioner” means a person registered as a veterinary practitioner under Part 4 of the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 .

3. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food declares that—

(a) a chamber for slaughtering pigs, and

(b) electrodes used for the slaughter of pigs,

are each an approved instrument for the purposes of Part II of the Slaughter of Animals Act 1935 when complying with this Order.

4. (1) A person, under the direct supervision of a registered veterinary practitioner, may slaughter a pig by exposure to a combination of carbon dioxide and inert gas (such as argon) in a chamber designed, constructed and fit for that purpose as determined by reference to paragraph (2) and to Schedule 1.

(2) The design of, amount and type of gas in and manner of using a chamber for the slaughter of pigs is prescribed in Schedule 1.

5. (1) A person, under the direct supervision of a registered veterinary practitioner, may slaughter a pig using a two-cycle electrical method using electrodes, where the pig is first stunned by passing an electrical current across the brain, and then subsequently killed by passing an electric current, of sufficient strength and duration to kill the pig, across the heart, causing cardiac arrest.

(2) The manner of using electrodes for the slaughter of pigs is prescribed in Schedule 2.

Article 4(2)


1. The chamber and equipment used to expose a pig to the gas mixture shall be—

(a) designed, constructed and maintained in a manner that avoids injury to a pig, and

(b) fitted with a device that can deliver gas mixtures to the chamber in accordance with the combination listed in paragraph 2.

2. The gas in the chamber shall constitute any mixture of argon and carbon dioxide, or other inert gas and carbon dioxide, in atmospheric air where-

(a) the concentration of argon, or other inert gas, does not exceed 80 per cent by volume,

(b) the concentration of carbon dioxide does not exceed 20 per cent by volume, and

(c) the final concentration of oxygen does not exceed 5 per cent by volume.

3. The operator of a chamber shall ensure that—

(a) a pig is exposed to the gas mixture for long enough to ensure it is killed,

(b) the chamber is properly maintained, and

(c) a person engaged in killing pigs is properly instructed regarding the method of operation of the chamber.

Article 5(2)


1. Electrodes shall be placed so that in the first instance they span the brain and when the pig is effectively stunned, the electrodes are then applied to span the heart of the pig to cause cardiac arrest.

2. The minimum current level used and duration of application shall cause immediate loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest in the pig.

3. A person using electrodes in accordance with this Order shall be competent to do so.


GIVEN under the Official Seal of the Minister,

23 December 2008


Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation).

These Regulations provide that a chamber and electrodes are approved instruments for the slaughter of pigs under the Slaughter of Animals Act 1935.

1 OJ No. L 340, of 31.12. 1993