About the N2GF Project
The consumption of meat and animal products is an integrated part of our society. Live animals are used for economic purposes by various industries and businesses. Take for example the European Union. In terms of numbers of animals, the farming sector is the largest user of farm animals, with at least 2 billion birds (chickens, laying hens, turkeys, etc.) and 334 million mammals (pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, fur animals).
Animal Welfare during production, transportation, slaughter, strong animal welfare legislation is in place with the objective to give animals a level of protection and welfare that reflects societal concerns.
In case animals get sick or loose their economic value due to their gender, animal welfare needs to be addressed to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering during on-farm stunning and killing. Especially during outbreaks of contagious diseases like Avian Influenza (Bird flu) or other zoonosis, the lives of animals within an entire region are at risk. In worst-case scenarios, emergency response measures are put in order in an attempt to stop the spreading of infections to animals in other areas by culling entire flocks.
This is why large-scale disease control measures touch upon economic, social, environmental, public health and consumer welfare objectives, including also an international dimension.
Even though consumers later have become interested in animal welfare and scientists now know more about the issue, there is little information to consumers on how animals are treated during production processes or during disease outbreaks.
Many farmers also lack information about alternative systems and often do not see any advantage in changing their processes into a more animal friendly way.
An important problem is that, as in the example concerning pigs, the use of modern, more animal welfare friendly systems of production often conflicts with economic pressure on operators to reduce costs.
The N2GF project in an initiative to share news and information related to culling and stunning methods, techniques, legislation and the opinions related to slaughter and killing of farm animals related to on-farm killing of animals and during outbreak situations. In addition to that, the N2GF platform presents information on the development of new approaches that are designed to safeguard animal welfare during stunning, culling and slaughter.
The newly developed Anoxia technique is an example for that. This Anoxia technique differs radically from all other stunning, culling and killing techniques. It is based on the principle of total absence of oxygen, and promises to revolutionize the way animals are treated in the last hours of their life.
The Anoxia technique is based on the creation of large volumes of high expansion foam bubbles, filled with pure Nitrogen. Because atmospheric air consists of 78% Nitrogen, mammals don’t notice the increase to up to 100% nor do they experience additional stress or pain. This makes it the most ideal principle to stun or kill farm animals.
Applications based on the Anoxia technique are now introduced and available for to the European poultry and pig markets, focussing on different farm animals. The first series of products are created to kill piglets up to 5 kg and poultry larger than 3 kg. We expect that this technique will contribute significantly to improvement of animal welfare during the slaughter and killing process. Later, a series of products are going to be introduced for large-scale application of the Anoxia technique during outbreak situations. These large-scale Anoxia applications promise to be the most cost-effective and efficient way to cull and kill large flocks of animals, without jeopardising animal welfare.
The N2GF team
The anoxia team consists of an international group of experts and specialists with indebt practical experience- based knowledge of culling, killing as well as of slaughter of pigs and poultry. Their goal is to improve animal welfare standards by openly discussing existing techniques in the interest of public concern, as well as to inform farmers about animal welfare-friendly alternatives.