Er worden binnen de Europese primaire pluimvee bedrijven jaarlijks 97 miljoen wrakke of zieke dieren handmatig gedood omdat ze hun economische waarde hebben verloren en/of uit hun lijden moeten worden verlost. Voor Nederland betekent dit ca. 5,54 miljoen vleeskuikens en een kleine 620.000 leghennen
Die uitval is een ongewenst bijverschijnsel en wordt binnen de sector als een intern probleem beschouwd. Het publiek is zich nauwelijks bewust dat het om zulke grote aantallen dieren gaat die geen keuze hebben tussen onnodig leiden en een langzame dood. Bij zulke aantallen is dierenwelzijn is in het geding en de betroffen dieren verdienen meer dan gebagitaliseerd te worden, alsof het om een te verwaarlozen probleem zou gaan.
De Europese Verordening EU 1099/2009 die per 1 januari 2013 binnen alle Europese lidstaten van kracht is geworden. werd in Nederland opgenomen in de wet Houders van Dieren die per 22 augustus 2014 van kracht is geworden.
Deze nieuwe dierenwelzijnswet biedt unieke kansen voor gespecialiseerde pluimvee dierenartsen om een sleutelrol te vervullen in de transformatie van de pluimvee sector.
In Europe, animal welfare is a part of the ‘licence to operate’ for the animal production industry, and the agricultural sector is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the EU.
Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 has come into force throughout the EU. The objective pursued by this regulation is to provide a level playing field within the internal market for all operators. Cervical neck dislocation is the traditional method of killing poultry on the farm. What changed after the Regulation 1099/2009 came into force at January 1, 2013 is that farmers are no longer allowed to use neck dislocation as routine method under emergency conditions to kill sick and cripple animals on the farm.
Many farmers lack information about alternative systems and often do not see any advantage in changing their processes, euthanizing sick and cripple animals in a more welfare friendly manner. An important problem is that the use of modern, more advanced animal welfare friendly systems of production often conflicts with economic pressure on operators to reduce costs. Not applying to administrative laws is a serious offense, usually sanctioned with high financial penalties.
Op 5 Juli 2014 werd het langverwachte Besluit Houders van Dieren in de Nederlandse Staatscourant gepubliseerd. Deze nieuwe wetgeving regelt onder andere het dierenwelzijn op productiebedrijven en is op 22 Augustus 2014 definitief van kracht geworden.
In het besluit zijn de Europese bepalingen overgenomen die zijn vervat in Europese Verordening EU 1099/2009. Het regelt onder meer het doden van wrakke of zieke productie dieren die op het landbouwbedrijf noodzakelijk gedood worden omdat ze hun economische waarde hebben verloren en/of uit hun lijden moeten worden verlost.
De Europese verordening voorziet bepalingen die een einde maakt aan de gebruikelijke praktijk om pluimvee door middel van handmatig breken van de nek te doden. Deze methode mag met ingang van het Besluit Houders van Dieren uitluitend nog toegepast worden als backup systeem. Iedere pluimveehouder is gehouden om een een standaard protocol te ontwikkelen en het personeel te trainen in het doden van pluimvee op het bedrijf.
During the EFSA’s Stakeholder Consultative meeting in Parma on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June 2011, EFS interacted with the stakeholders on EFSA’s scientific activities and the outlook of the future activities involving the stakeholders.
Annette TOFT presented the opinion of the European farmers and agricultural cooperatives COPA – COGECA, stressing the relevance of zoonoses questions to farmers and agri – cooperatives activities.
The EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) was asked to deliver scientific opinions on monitoring procedures at slaughterhouses for different animal species, stunning methods and slaughter without stunning. AHAW agreed that, although it is traditional to look for outcomes of unconsciousness in poultry following stunning, the risk of poor welfare can be detected better if bird welfare monitoring is focused on detecting consciousness, i.e. ineffective stunning or recovery of consciousness.
Therefore, the indicators were phrased neutrally (e.g. corneal reflex) and the outcomes were phrased either suggesting unconsciousness (e.g. absence of corneal reflex) or suggesting consciousness (e.g. presence of corneal reflex). This approach is commonly used in animal health studies (e.g. testing for the presence of a disease) but very new to animal welfare monitoring in slaughterhouses.
A toolbox of selected indicators is proposed to check for signs of consciousness in poultry after stunning with waterbaths or gas mixtures; a different toolbox of indicators is proposed for confirming death of the birds following slaughter without stunning.
In July 2014, EFSA provided her opinion on a study that proposes parameters for poultry electrical waterbath stunning different to those laid down in Council Regulation EU 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.
The submitted study reports upon the use (mean + SD) of a current of 104.00 ± 3.88 mA, a voltage of 125.86 ± 3.28 V and a frequency of 589.78 ± 0.63 Hz using a square wave in alternating current (AC) with a 50 % duty cycle. These conditions were applied for 15 seconds to chickens under laboratory and slaughterhouse conditions.
The methodology and the data reported do not provide conclusive evidence that the combination of the proposed electrical frequency and current induced unconsciousness without exposing the chickens to avoidable pain and suffering, and some chickens did not remain unconscious for a sufficient time to prevent avoidable pain and suffering during slaughter.
EFSA stated in their report that it was doubtful that recovery of consciousness could be avoided prior to neck cutting and/or during bleeding. The minimum duration of unconsciousness was reported to be 11 seconds, which is too short to permit a feasible stun-to-stick interval. Further, it is also doubtful that recovery of consciousness could be avoided prior to neck cutting and/or during bleeding. The minimum time to resumption of breathing was reported to be 8 seconds following stunning.
Application of a current less than that required inducing immediate unconsciousness causes pain, distress and suffering. The study failed to demonstrate absence of pain and suffering until onset of unconsciousness. The minimum duration of unconsciousness was too short to ensure unconsciousness until death by bleeding.
Prevention and preparation for large-scale outbreak situations are having a serious price tag, but by neglecting the outcome of risk assessments do have disastrous consequences that turn crisis situations into a worldwide disaster. Read what happens when doctors and nurses are doomed to treat highly infectious patients without any Personal Protection Equipment, no amount of vaccinations and new drugs would be able to prevent the escalating disaster.
Read about what the international president of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Dr Joanne Liu explains that the world is ‘losing the battle’ as cases and deaths continue to surge. As one of the leading health experts she urges military teams to be sent to west Africa immediately if there is to be any hope of controlling the Ebola epidemic.
During a meeting with the United Nations on Tuesday, doctors working on the frontline of the outbreaks painted a stark picture of health workers dying, explaining that patients left without care and infectious bodies lying in the streets. Although alarm bells had been ringing for six months, the response had been too little, too late.
Interest in the One Health approach is surfacing in both the public and private sector within the USA. Members of the US Congress have demonstrated their support of One Health principles by introducing legislation to promote, implement, and sustain veterinary services, and veterinary public health; to promote training in food systems security; to develop strategies to address antimicrobial resistance; and to develop other veterinary health initiatives.
The private sector understands that harnessing the combined expertise of medical and veterinary science can transform the ability to control and eradicate a range of pathogens that pose major threats to both human and animal health, and that undermine the viability of livestock agriculture and food production. As part of its vision for 2015, APHIS Veterinary Service is committed to embrace One Health strategy as part of the solution to address the changes and challenges of the APHIS Veterinary Service landscape.
During the FVE conference in Brussels on April 7, 2014, Katinka de Balogh, leader of the global Veterinary Public Health activities of the FAO, presented the One-Health approach to highlight the importance of prevention, ensuring health and welfare of people and animals in a globalized environment:
• The benefit coming from the implementation of good health management in practice, both in terms of health and welfare, as well as, of financial sustainability
• The importance of coordinating actions in both sectors via a One-Health approach, with a particular focus on zoonotic diseases
• The role of the medical and veterinary profession in assuring these matters and educating the society
Katinka de Balogh is of Dutch and Hungarian origins and grew up in Latin-America. She studied veterinary medicine in Berlin and Munich and graduated and obtained her doctorate in tropical parasitology from the Tropical Institute of the University of Munich in 1984. In the late 80’s she had spent two years as a young professional at the Veterinary Public Health Unit of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. In 2002 she started working at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.