Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing (Text with EEA relevance)

Official gazette publicationGazzetta ufficiale dell’Unione europea, L 303, 18 novembre 2009, Diario Oficial de la Unión Europea, L 303, 18 de noviembre de 2009, Journal officiel de l’Union européenne, L 303, 18 novembre 2009
Publication Date18 Nov 2009
Consolidated TEXT: 32009R1099 — EN — 14.12.2019

02009R1099 — EN — 14.12.2019 — 002.001

This text is meant purely as a documentation tool and has no legal effect. The Union's institutions do not assume any liability for its contents. The authentic versions of the relevant acts, including their preambles, are those published in the Official Journal of the European Union and available in EUR-Lex. Those official texts are directly accessible through the links embedded in this document



of 24 September 2009

on the protection of animals at the time of killing

(Text with EEA relevance)

(OJ L 303 18.11.2009, p. 1)

Amended by:

Official Journal






L 95





L 122



Corrected by:


Corrigendum, OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, p. 40 (2017/625)



of 24 September 2009

on the protection of animals at the time of killing

(Text with EEA relevance)



Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1. This Regulation lays down rules for the killing of animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool, skin, fur or other products as well as the killing of animals for the purpose of depopulation and for related operations.

However as regards fish, only the requirements laid down in Article 3(1) shall apply.

2. Chapter II, except for Article 3(1) and (2) thereof, Chapter III and Chapter IV except for Article 19 thereof, shall not apply in case of emergency killing outside of a slaughterhouse or where compliance with those provisions would result in an immediate and serious risk for human health or safety.

3. This Regulation shall not apply:

(a) where animals are killed:

(i) during scientific experiments carried out under the supervision of a competent authority;

(ii) during hunting or recreational fishing activities;

(iii) during cultural or sporting events;

(b) to poultry, rabbits and hares slaughtered outside of a slaughterhouse by their owner for his/her private domestic consumption.

Article 2


For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) ‘killing’ means any intentionally induced process which causes the death of an animal;

(b) ‘related operations’ means operations such as handling, lairaging, restraining, stunning and bleeding of animals taking place in the context and at the location where they are to be killed;

(c) ‘animal’ means any vertebrate animal, excluding reptiles and amphibians;

(d) ‘emergency killing’ means the killing of animals which are injured or have a disease associated with severe pain or suffering and where there is no other practical possibility to alleviate this pain or suffering;

(e) ‘lairaging’ means keeping animals in stalls, pens, covered areas or fields associated with or part of slaughterhouse operations;

(f) ‘stunning’ means any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain, including any process resulting in instantaneous death;

(g) ‘religious rite’ means a series of acts related to the slaughter of animals and prescribed by a religion;

(h) ‘cultural or sporting events’ means events which are essentially and predominantly related to long established cultural traditions or sporting activities, including racing or other forms of competitions, where there is no production of meat or other animal products or where that production is marginal compared to the event as such and not economically significant;

(i) ‘standard operating procedures’ means a set of written instructions aimed at achieving uniformity of the performance of a specific function or standard;

(j) ‘slaughtering’ means the killing of animals intended for human consumption;

(k) ‘slaughterhouse’ means any establishment used for slaughtering terrestrial animals which falls within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004;

(l) ‘business operator’ means any natural or legal person having under its control an undertaking carrying out the killing of animals or any related operations falling within the scope of this Regulation;

(m) ‘fur animals’ means animals of the mammal species primarily reared for the production of fur such as minks, polecats, foxes, raccoons, coypu and chinchillas;

(n) ‘depopulation’ means the process of killing animals for public health, animal health, animal welfare or environmental reasons under the supervision of the competent authority;

(o) ‘poultry’ means farmed birds, including birds that are not considered to be domestic birds but which are farmed as domestic animals, with the exception of ratites;

(p) ‘restraint’ means the application to an animal of any procedure designed to restrict its movements sparing any avoidable pain, fear or agitation in order to facilitate effective stunning and killing;


(q) ‘competent authorities’ means competent authorities as defined in point (3) of Article 3 of Regulation ►C1 (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 1 );


(r) ‘pithing’ means the laceration of the central nervous tissue and spinal cord by means of an elongated rod-shaped instrument introduced into the cranial cavity.



Article 3

General requirements for killing and related operations

1. Animals shall be spared any avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations.

2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, business operators shall, in particular, take the necessary measures to ensure that animals:

(a) are provided with physical comfort and protection, in particular by being kept clean in adequate thermal conditions and prevented from falling or slipping;

(b) are protected from injury;

(c) are handled and housed taking into consideration their normal behaviour;

(d) do not show signs of avoidable pain or fear or exhibit abnormal behaviour;

(e) do not suffer from prolonged withdrawal of feed or water;

(f) are prevented from avoidable interaction with other animals that could harm their welfare.

3. Facilities used for killing and related operations shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to ensure compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 under the expected conditions of activity of the facility throughout the year.

Article 4

Stunning methods

1. Animals shall only be killed after stunning in accordance with the methods and specific requirements related to the application of those methods set out in Annex I. The loss of consciousness and sensibility shall be maintained until the death of the animal.

The methods referred to in Annex I which do not result in instantaneous death (hereinafter referred to as simple stunning) shall be followed as quickly as possible by a procedure ensuring death such as bleeding, pithing, electrocution or prolonged exposure to anoxia.

2. Annex I may be amended to take account of scientific and technical progress on the basis of an opinion of EFSA and in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 25(2).

Any such amendments shall ensure a level of animal welfare at least equivalent to that ensured by the existing methods.

3. Community guidelines concerning the methods set out in Annex I may be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 25(2).

4. In the case of animals subject to particular methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites, the requirements of paragraph 1 shall not apply provided that the slaughter takes place in a slaughterhouse.

Article 5

Checks on stunning

1. Business operators shall ensure that persons responsible for stunning or other nominated staff carry out regular checks to ensure that the animals do not present any signs of consciousness or sensibility in the period between the end of the stunning process and death.

Those checks shall be carried out on a sufficiently representative sample of animals and their frequency shall be established taking into account the outcome of previous checks and any factors which may affect the efficiency of the stunning process.

When the outcome of the checks indicates that an animal is not properly stunned, the person in charge of stunning shall immediately take the appropriate measures as specified in the standard operating procedures drawn up in accordance with Article 6(2).

2. Where, for the purpose of Article 4(4), animals are killed without prior stunning, persons responsible for slaughtering shall carry out systematic checks to ensure that the animals do not present any signs of consciousness or sensibility before being released from restraint and do not present any sign of life before undergoing dressing or scalding.

3. For the purpose of paragraphs 1 and 2, business operators may use checking procedures as described in the guides to good practice referred to in Article 13.

4. Where appropriate, in order to take account of the high level of reliability of certain stunning methods and on the basis of an opinion of EFSA, derogations from the requirements laid down in paragraph 1 may be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 25(2).

Article 6

Standard operating procedures

1. Business operators shall plan in advance the killing of animals and related operations and shall carry them out in accordance with standard operating procedures.

2. Business operators shall draw up and implement such standard operating procedures...

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