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Module 1 Pig Welfare, Slaughter and Biosecurity

Last Updated: 20 Mar 2024.

1.1 Compliance with the Quality Pork Charter Rules

The charter participant shall be compliant with the requirements of the BMPA Quality Pork Charter rules.


The charter participant shall be aware that where specific charter rules have been highlighted in a red box, that these are auditable points within the scope of this pork module against which compliance shall be assessed by the service provider.


Compliance with the specific auditable points of the BMPA Quality Pork Charter rules.

1.1 Transport checklist

According to rule 5.4.1 and 5.4.2 the animal welfare officer is responsible for monitoring livestock vehicles against the Transport Checklist, a copy of which can be downloaded below.

Download Checklist

1.1 Effective cleansing of livestock vehicles

The UK pig industry is a ‘just in time’ supply chain. Insemination, farrowing, weaning, growing, slaughter and processing, distribution and delivery to outlet (and thereby to final customer) are highly organised and very inter-dependent. Any major disease outbreak that slows or reduces the supply of slaughter pigs quickly impacts on all links in the chain. A crucial part in maximising bio-security is the effective cleansing of livestock vehicles at abattoirs, ready built focal points for potential cross-contamination.

Download the vehicle washing report

Download the cleaning & disinfecting of vehicles report

1.2 Vehicle inspection checklist

According to rule 4.6.7 and 4.6.8 the livestock vehicle drive must also complete a Vehicle Inspection Checklist that covers the scope of the Standard Operating Procedure for the condition, cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles. A copy of this checklist can be downloaded below.

Download Checklist

1.3 Useful publications on humane killing & captive-bolt stunning

According to rule 6.1, standard operating procedures that cover the full scope of the stunning and slaughter process must be in place. The following publications provide useful guidance:

  • Captive-Bolt Stunning of Livestock Guidance Notes 2 and 4. 3rd Edition. © Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) 2001. IBSN 1 871561 07 8
  • Humane Killing of Livestock Using Firearms Guidance Notes 3. 2nd Edition. © Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) 2005. IBSN 1 871561 11

2.1 Maintenance of the site

The abattoir and surrounding areas shall be maintained in a manner that does not present risks to food safety, animal welfare or environmental protection.


The site, transport routes, equipment, facilities, and waste storage areas shall be well maintained and managed in a way that avoids the accumulation of rubbish and redundant equipment.


Tour and inspection of all external/internal areas.

2.2 Plan for the management of serious incidents

2.2.1 A documented plan for the effective management of serious incidents and potential emergency situations that threaten food safety, animal welfare or the environment shall be in place and known to key staff.

2.2.2 An incident log detailing the circumstances and actions taken to manage and resolve an incident shall be maintained.

2.2.3 Any issues that affect the assurance status of pigs shall be reported to the BMPA.


There should be evidence that potential risks have been taken into account and that documented action plans are in place to deal with these should they occur e.g., feed/water failure, fire, extreme weather, disease outbreak, activist activity, abattoir breakdown, waste discharge etc.


Risk assessment, emergency plan, list of key contacts, key staff awareness/training, and review of previous incident logs.

3.1 Demonstrating assured farm, vehicle and collection centre traceability

3.1.1 To be eligible, pigs shall be born and reared for their entire lifetime on an assured farm that is certified by either Red Tractor, Quality Meat Scotland (Pigs) or an equivalent farm assurance scheme recognised by the BMPA

3.1.2 Pigs shall be transported from the farm to the abattoir/collection centre on assured livestock vehicles certified to either the Red Tractor, or the Quality Meat Scotland livestock transport scheme or an equivalent livestock transport scheme recognised by the BMPA.

3.1.3 Collection centres or external lairages shall only be used as part of the sites emergency procedures to facilitate business continuity and shall be certified to the Red Tractor Livestock Market and Collection Centre standard or an equivalent standard recognised by the BMPA. If collection centres or external lairages are used, they will be to the same standard as an on-site lairage e.g. CCTV etc. 

3.1.4 Pigs traded through livestock markets shall be excluded from the BMPA Quality Pork Charter – procedures shall be in place to manage/segregate pigs excluded from the charter.

3.1.5 The abattoir shall have a procedure in place to confirm the assured status of the farms, collection centres and livestock vehicles for each consignment of pigs arriving at the site.


The site shall be able to demonstrate that the assurance chain is intact for each consignment of pigs on delivery. Approved assured farms, livestock vehicles and collection centres may be verified for status using the following assurance checkers to ensure that the assurance scheme certificate is still valid:

3.1.1 For assured pig farms:

3.1.2 For assured livestock vehicles:

Note that farmers who use their own transport will have their livestock vehicles assessed in the farm assurance audit and the vehicles are certified under that scheme, so the farm assurance check is sufficient to comply with this requirement. 

3.1.3 For assured collection centres the auditor shall confirm with the processing site if collection centres are used:


Copy ofassured farm, livestock vehicle’s and where applicable, collection centre certificates and that information is available to verify the assured farm, livestock vehicles and collection centre (where applicable) used for each consignment of assured pigs can be obtained from the animal movement document. Further verification can be obtained by contacting the assurance certification body or the assurance scheme owner.

3.2 Animal movement documentation

3.2.1 Each consignment of farm assured pigs shall be accompanied by an animal movement licence document at all times which details the following:

  • name of the producer 
  • holding unit the pigs came from 
  • farm assurance certification number 
  • pig slap number/ear tag
  • number of pigs
  • country of birth, rearing and slaughter or a statement of pig’s origin (where pigs are born and reared in one country, a single statement of origin is sufficient)
  • details of livestock vehicle 
  • date of movement

3.2.2 Copies of animal movement documents shall be kept by the charter participant for a minimum of 12 months.


It is recommended that producers use the AHDB Pork electronic animal movement licence (eAML) system, Scot EIDor an equivalent.


Examples of animal movement documents since the last audit should be reviewed and cross referenced to a selection of producers supplying assured pigs.

3.3 Pig identity checking

3.3.1 On arrival at the lairage, checks shall be carried out to ensure that each individual pig can be identified by a legible slap mark or ear tag that can link the pig to the supplying farm.

3.3.2 On arrival at the abattoir the slap mark/ear tag shall be verified against the animal movement licence (eAML2).

3.3.3 Pigs whose identity cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt shall be excluded from the BMPA Quality Pork Charter. Procedures shall be in place to manage/segregate pigs excluded from the charter.

3.3.4 Recurring issues with illegible/missing slap marks/ear tags shall be reported to the producer. On the first instance this should be reported to the producer, any further instances are to be reported to trading standards should the issue still persist.


The slap mark or ear tagenables the charter participant to trace each pig back to the assured farm. This is also a legal requirement to ensure traceability. Slap marks/ear tags shall be clear and legible and may comprise of letters or numbers or a combination of the two. If it is not possible to verify the identify the pig/pigs, then this can be done at the dead weight scale. If the pigs slap is unidentifiable but, the records of the delivery and all other documentation prove that the pig/pigs are from an assured farm then these carcasses can be passed as BQAP pork. 


Verification of slap marks/ear tags on slaughter line and in carcass chills. Review procedures for dealing with pigs that have been excluded from the charter.

Where recurring issues with illegible slap marks/ear tags have been found, evidence of reporting back to the producer shall be reviewed. Evidence must be documented and available to review. 

4.1 Cleansing of livestock vehicles

4.1.1 All assured and non-assured pig livestock vehicles entering the abattoir site shall be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected prior to leaving the site.

4.1.2 The site shall have a documented biosecurity risk assessment and associated standard operating procedures that cover the following:

  • Adequacy of the cleansing and disinfection facilities for the number and types of vehicles to be cleansed and disinfected (see clauses 4.1.4 to 4.1.7)
  • The number, type and size of bays required (see clauses 4.2.1 and 4.2.2)
  • Flooring (see clause 4.2.3)
  • Lighting requirements (see clause 4.2.4)
  • Risks of cross contamination (see clauses 4.3.1 and 4.3.2)
  • Drainage (see clauses 4.3.3 to 4.3.5)
  • Removal and storage of manure (see clause 4.3.6)
  • Access to the facilities (see clauses 4.4.1 and 4.4.2)
  • Cleaning equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements (see clauses 4.4.3 to 4.4.5 and 4.6.1)
  • Cleaning chemical requirements (see clauses 4.4.6 to 4.4.10)
  • The methodology for cleansing and disinfecting (see clauses 4.5 and 4.6.2 to 4.6.4)
  • The length of time required to effectively cleanse and disinfect each vehicle
  • Cleansing inspection requirements (see clauses 4.6.5 to 4.6.10)

4.1.3 The risk assessment shall be reviewed and updated annually or after major changes to the site and aligned to the company’s internal audit programme to assess compliance against the BMPA Pig Welfare, Slaughter and Biosecurity module.

4.1.4 A dedicated, well designed and maintained area shall be provided within the site for the cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles. Disinfection may be carried out after cleansing, in a separate area from the washing bay if the area remains within the site boundary and movement of the vehicle to the disinfecting area does not pose any cross-contamination risks.

4.1.5 A site plan detailing the location of wash facilities and the movement of clean and dirty livestock vehicles shall be available.

4.1.6 The livestock vehicle cleansing, and disinfection facility shall be available to drivers when their vehicles are on site.

4.1.7 Where there is insufficient space on the site to provide, adequate vehicle wash facilities the charter participant shall seek derogation from the BMPA PTAC. Each derogation request will be assessed on a case-by-case basis but will be viewed as a last resort. Off-site facilities, if approved by PTAC shall be local to the abattoir and under the management of the charter participant. All other requirements of Section 4 shall be met in full.


For further guidance see Appendix 1 of this module.

Access to the facilities shall be available when pigs are being delivered to the site. Livestock vehicles shall have unrestricted access to the facilities following unloading of pigs and the charter participant shall ensure that there is no excessive back log of vehicles waiting to be cleansed (access within 1 hour of unloading should be used as a guide).

The design of the facilities shall be such that it eliminates any potential damage to services/equipment e.g. water taps/pipe work during the movement of transport within the general area.


Review evidence of livestock vehicle deliveries against vehicle lorry washing inspection reports. Review risk assessment and standard operating procedures (SOP`s) for compliance to the charter.

Visual inspection of facilities. Verification that the area is dedicated for the cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles and is available always. Site plan detailing location of wash facilities and the movement for clean and dirty livestock vehicles. Where vehicles are cleansed off site evidence of derogation from the PTAC shall be checked.

4.2 Wash bays

4.2.1 The charter participant shall have sufficient number and size of wash bays to allow effective cleansing and disinfection of all vehicles at peak periods, without excessive delay and prior to the vehicles leaving site.

4.2.2 Bay(s) may be ‘drive-through’ but where this is not possible, the site shall provide clear SOP`s to ensure that the area immediately in front of the bay is cleansed and disinfected before vehicles are driven out. 

4.2.3 The floor of the bay shall be hard standing, well maintained and slope away from the vehicle so that washout water free-flows away from the tailboard and wheels towards the drain. 

4.2.4 Sufficient lighting shall be provided to ensure that each wash bay, including the interior and exterior of the vehicle, is adequately lit so that effective cleansing, disinfection and inspection can be carried out regardless of the time of day/night.


The participant shall have considered the different types and sizes of vehicles used to deliver livestock. Regarding 4.2.4 (lighting) It is not the intention to prescribe the minimum lux level. The HSE recommends 20 lux for outdoor work involving movement of lorries, however it is expected that the site shall have taken into consideration the design, location, and time of operation of the vehicle wash facilities as this shall vary from site to site.


4.2.1 Visual inspection of area. Verify by cross checking examples of delivery vehicle types against the risk assessment study. The check shall include the length of vehicle against actual length of bay. Bays shall be appropriate in length to type of vehicle. Look for evidence of excessive back log of vehicles waiting to be cleansed (max 1hr delay as a guide).

  • For bays that are not ‘drive through’, verification may be sought from:
  • visual inspection of bay area
  • copy of work instructions
  • discussion with livestock vehicle driver

4.2.3 Visual inspection of floor area within the bay area. Verify the direction of the flow of water within the bay drainage area.

 4.2.4 Verification of location, number of lighting units and operation of lighting provided. The auditor shall review supporting evidence within the checklist e.g. checking the number of lighting units and verification that all the light units in the wash bay area are working.

4.3 Preventing cross-contamination of wash bays

4.3.1 The facilities shall be designed and supported by standard operating procedures (SOP`s) that ensure effective cleansing, disinfection and which prevent cross contamination between dirty water, manure, personnel, personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment and vehicles.

4.3.2 Where more than one wash bay are provided, a system to prevent cross contamination between bays shall be in place.

4.3.3 There shall be a protected drain area towards one end of each bay that is positioned behind the open tailgate of all vehicles that use the facility.

4.3.4 The drains shall ensure the contaminated wash-out water is routed towards a suitable containment tank to facilitate proper disposal, or to the main sewer, where on site facilities and legislation permit. 

4.3.5 The site shall demonstrate appropriate disposal of wash-out water from the containment tank. The site shall also hold a drainage plan to indicate the flow of wash out water.

4.3.6 Facilities shall be provided for the storage of manure/debris to prevent cross contamination before removal from the site.

4.4 Cleansing and disinfection facilities

4.4.1 The cleansing and disinfection facilities shall be clearly identified, appropriate for their intended use and, where there is more than one, be specific to each wash bay.

4.4.2 Adequate storage facilities shall be provided for cleaning equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and chemicals.

4.4.3 Adequate equipment and (PPE) shall be provided, be appropriate for its intended use and be well maintained for each vehicle wash bay. 

4.4.4 A list of equipment and PPE provided shall be readily available to livestock vehicle drivers. 

4.4.5 The hose reels, pressure washers and disinfectant facilities shall be protected from temperature extremes to ensure effective wash-down operations can continue throughout winter weather.

4.4.6 Sites and livestock vehicle drivers shall comply with current health and safety legislation.

4.4.7 DEFRA approved disinfectants shall be supplied by the site at the vehicle wash facilities.

4.4.8 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) data shall be held by the site for the chemicals provided. 

4.4.9 The disinfectant and detergents shall be diluted and utilised in full accordance with SOP`s and the manufacturer’s instructions. 

4.4.10 In compliance with current health and safety legislation chemical shall be securely stored to prevent unauthorised access or cross contamination with food, raw materials and packaging.


The cleansing and disinfection facilities shall be readily identified by colour, design or signage.

Copy of cleaning manual and availability to livestock drivers, list of equipment and PPE. Verification of condition of equipment and personal protective equipment and storage facilities for hose reels etc. 

The site shall have taken into consideration the following: 

  • appropriateness of the system for the application of the cleaning chemicals during the cleaning operation
  • how the cleaning chemicals are to be supplied to the wash facilities safely (where the chemicals are to be dispensed)
  • storage facilities when cleaning chemicals are not in use
  • the site shall have developed appropriate work instructions for the dilution of chemicals. Work instructions shall be readily available 

A list of DEFRA approved detergents and sanitisers shall be reviewed and this should list the chemicals in use However, it should be noted that DEFRA frequently update the list, so it is possible for a chemical to be on the list at the time of purchase to be then removed at a later stage whilst the chemical is still in use at the site. In such circumstances if the site can prove the chemical was on the list at the time of purchase and that arrangements are in place to move to a chemical on the updated approved list at the next re-order point then this would be viewed as being compliant to the charter requirements.


Verification shall be sought for the following:

  • evidence of training that includes health & safety legislation (where appropriate)
  • detergents and disinfectants are supplied to the wash facilities in accordance with legislation 
  • availability of up to date COSHH data sheets covering the scope of cleaning chemicals manufacturer’s recommendations in relation to dilution rates aligned to legislation.
  • correct storage of chemicals

4.5 Standard operating procedure (SOP) for cleaning

4.5.1 The site shall have a documented standard operating procedure (SOP) for the cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles. 

4.5.2 The SOP shall have, as a minimum, five distinct stages of cleansing:

  • dry removal of all solid manure including straw or shavings
  • detergent soaking stage
  • wash stage using pressurised clean water
  • application of disinfectant to all cleaned, drained surfaces
  • inspection

In addition, the following shall be clearly stated:

  • methodology of cleansing to include disinfection
  • frequency of cleansing
  • cleaning chemicals to use
  • dilution rates
  • contact times
  • safe use and storage of cleaning chemical

4.5.3 Detergent and disinfectant shall be applied in methodical and overlapping horizontal or vertical sweeps to ensure that all surface areas are covered. Detergent shall be applied using a foaming lance and allowed at least 10 minutes contact time to be effective

4.5.4 The SOP shall detail the staff duties and responsibilities for the maintenance and cleanliness of facilities. 

4.5.5 To cover for staff leave, the site shall have a minimum of two named contacts with responsibility for the maintenance and cleanliness of the vehicle wash facilities. The names and contact details of the nominated individuals carrying out this task shall be displayed at the washout facilities. The named staff shall demonstrate competence aligned to their responsibilities.

4.5.6 The SOP shall be reviewed and updated at least annually.

4.5.7 The standard operating procedure for effective use of the vehicle wash and the cleansing and disinfecting of the vehicle shall be communicated to livestock vehicle drivers at the wash bay.

4.5.8 Operating procedures for the use of detergents and disinfectants (including the PPE to be worn) shall be clear, unambiguous, and displayed in an accessible position at the wash bay.


See Appendix 1 of this module for guidance on auditing technique which refers to the recommended wash process in the ‘Effective Cleansing of Livestock Vehicles’ report, on page 17 and for audit point locations, refer to Appendix (i) of the report on page 19.


Copy of SOP for cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles. Verification of methodology aligned to clause 4.5.3. Visibility of named personnel displayed in washout facilities and demonstration of competency. Evidence of last review date of SOP and amends.

Displayed copy of SOP and verification of livestock vehicle driver’s awareness of SOP and inspect the standard of vehicle cleansing and disinfection.

4.6 Livestock vehicles and drivers

4.6.1 All livestock vehicle drivers shall be instructed on the correct use of the wash bay, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and its location.

4.6.2 Livestock vehicle drivers shall, within an hour be given sufficient time to effectively cleanse and disinfect their vehicles before leaving site.

4.6.3 It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure each wash bay and PPE is cleaned down and the PPE disinfected, hoses are rolled up and the bays are left clean and tidy after use. 

4.6.4 The site shall provide drivers with the opportunity to comment on the facilities provided. Any complaints shall be treated in accordance with the site’s complaints procedure.

4.6.5 The abattoir shall hold an up to date list of all livestock vehicles entering and leaving the site. 

4.6.6 All livestock vehicles shall be inspected by appropriately trained site-based personnel prior to the vehicle leaving site. To verify that livestock vehicles are being maintained in good condition and cleansed and disinfected in accordance with the site’s standard operating procedure (SOP). 

4.6.7 The site shall develop a checklist that covers the scope of the SOP for the condition, cleansing and disinfection of livestock vehicles. The checklist shall be completed in full to include name of the driver, details of the vehicle including its registration number, condition, time into and out of wash bay and the name of the person carrying out the vehicle inspection and whether the standard was acceptable or not.

4.6.8 Where inspection identifies an issue relating to cleanliness, the vehicle shall be re-cleansed and disinfected to the appropriate standard before it can leave the site. Issues associated with vehicle condition shall be reported to the driver. Root cause and corrective action shall be established and recorded. Recurring issues shall be reported to senior management and to the assured livestock transport scheme body. 

4.6.9 Records of vehicle inspections and corrective actions shall be held on file and form part of the completed vehicle inspection checklist.

4.6.10 The site shall have a named person onsite that is responsible for ensuring there are regular verifications in place to ensure all vehicles leaving site are suitably cleansed and disinfected.


4.6.2 The site shall have considered this requirement within their risk assessment exercise. Approximate times shall be documented dependent on vehicle type and size within the risk assessment.

The ‘Effective Cleansing of Livestock Vehicles’ report in Appendix 1 of this module suggests that the following vehicle cleansing times are required:

  • Artic (triple deck) 2 ¼ hours
  • Drawbar combination (double deck) 2 hours
  • Rigid (triple deck) 1 ¾ hours

4.6.5 Information of livestock vehicles, cleansing records shall already form part of the site’s data base for monitoring pig deliveries aligned to animal movement documents.


4.6.1 Training records of livestock vehicle drivers. Copy of cleaning manual and availability to livestock drivers, list of equipment and PPE.

4.6.2 Record time of a clean down. Discussion with livestock vehicle driver on time and expectation of cleansing time.

4.6.3 Visual inspection of bays for good manufacturing practice (GMP). Review examples of completed feedback questionnaires since the last audit. Review responses aligned to sites complaints procedure and where appropriate evidence of corrective action undertaken.

4.6.5 Review vehicle inspection records and evidence of how issues are resolved.

5.1 Animal welfare policy & officers

5.1.1 Each abattoir shall have a documented animal welfare policy and associated standard operating procedures (SOP`s) that detail staff duties and responsibilities that relate to maintaining high standards of animal welfare and resolving any welfare related incidents that occur during the handling and movement of pigs whilst on site, and during the lairaging, stunning and sticking operations. 

5.1.2 All staff (lairage, security and abattoir personnel as appropriate) handling or monitoring live pigs shall be trained against the abattoir’s animal welfare policy and standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

5.1.3 Training records shall be maintained.

5.1.4 The policy and associated procedures shall be reviewed and updated at least annually.

5.1.5 There shall be evidence of actions taken when incidents occur.


The policy and procedures shall be aligned to relevant legislation, cover the scope of this clause, practical and implemented fully. The procedures shall consider actions to be taken in the event of flooding and fire, including the movement of pigs to approved emergency lairage/pig collection facilities if deemed necessary. Ideally, the animal welfare policy may be displayed in the lairage office.


Copy of Animal Welfare Policy and aligned SOPs. Staff training records. Evidence of last review date and updates. Review of actions taken when incidents occur.

5.2 Animal welfare officers

5.2.1 The site shall have undertaken a documented risk assessment to determine the number of employees that need to be appointed as an animal welfare officer (AWO)who have responsibility for overseeing the animal welfare aspects of unloading, lairaging and slaughter of pigs. 

5.2.2 As a minimum, responsibility for animal welfare shall be specifically assigned to a trained and competent AWO. The AWO shallattend the Bristol University, Humane Slaughter Association, Livestock-wise or an equivalent animal welfare course recognised by the BMPA. The site shall retain a copy of all training certificates.

5.2.3 There shall be at least one trained AWO on duty during the operation of the slaughter lines, to check that all pigs are handled with care during unloading, lairaging, penning and slaughter, ensuring compliance with legislation and the BMPA Pig Welfare, Slaughter, and Biosecurity module. 

5.2.4 Daily checks on the welfare conditions of randomly selected batches of pigs shall be assessed and documented on arrival by the AWO or competent deputy.


Trained AWOs are responsible for overseeing the unloading, carriage and passage of pigs to the point of slaughter. The following may be considered (not exhaustive):

  • delivery schedules (including out of hours/weekends)
  • number of AWOs required to cover all relevant processes, e.g. unloading/lairage and slaughter
  • number of pigs being processed aligned to kill rate
  • adequate cover in the event of holidays/sickness
  • where a single AWO is present, the operative shall adhere to company procedures when moving between lairage and abattoir to ensure food safety procedures are not being compromised.

The scope of the animal welfare training course shall be appropriate to the activities of the site. Copies of animal welfare training certificates shall be readily available for review by the service provider at the time of the audit. Note that this training is in addition to the legally required certificates of competence. Refer to the Guide to Good Practice – Welfare at Slaughter for procedure examples


In deciding if conformance has been met, the auditor shall review the risk assessment study and check that the conclusions of the study are appropriate. Additional evidence shall be copies of AWO welfare training certificates. Examples of daily checks on the welfare conditions of pigs. 

5.3 CCTV

5.3.1 The charter participant shall have a functional and secure closed-circuit television (CCTV) system which provides clear visibility of all aspects of the process that could, if not adequately controlled, adversely impact animal welfare. 

5.3.2 CCTV shall be recorded always where animals are undergoing the following processes:

  • Unloading from vehicles in the lairage 
  • Lairaging (including the movement of animals out of the lairage towards the stun point)
  • Entering a controlled atmosphere system (where applicable)
  • Stunning (including animals approaching the stun area)
  • Shackling (including the shackling of animals following gas killing)
  • Sticking

5.3.3 Documented weekly checks of the footage shall be made by the AWO or competent deputy to ensure that the CCTV system is working and that it is being reviewed to ensure that staff are adhering to the SOPs as described in clause 4.1.

5.3.4 The site shall allow the OV access to CCTV footage

5.3.5 CCTV footage shall be securely stored for a minimum of three months and only accessible to nominated staff. 

5.3.6 Evidence of actions taken when incidents occur


Visibility of location of CCTV from unloading from vehicles to sticking. Verification of CCTV operating at time of auditDocumented checks and CCTV footage shall be available to the service provider if required at time of audit. Verification of storage period of CCTV footage. 

5.4 Animal arrivals system & facilities

5.4.1 Facilities shall be provided at the abattoir lairage for the unloading of pigs. The angle between the tail ramps and the unloading ramp shall be no steeper than 20°. 

5.4.2 Where there is evidence of pigs slipping or falling then the angle of the unloading ramp should be checked and any non-compliance reported to the Red Tractor Livestock Transport Scheme. 

5.4.3 Charter participants shall use a planned arrivals system and provide livestock vehicle drivers with advanced notice of their allocated time slots for delivering pigs to the site. There shall be a system in place to allow drivers to notify the site if they are more than an hour late.

5.4.4 The charter participant shall have completed the unloading of the pigs at the lairage within 45 minutes of the livestock vehicle arriving on site. The time the livestock vehicle arrives on site to the time the last pig has been unloaded at the lairage shall be recorded.

5.4.5 Where vehicles arrive at the site more than 30 minutes prior to their planned arrival time, and it is not possible to unload within 45 minutes (see 5.5(b), an AWO shall carry out a documented welfare risk assessment to assess the condition and welfare of the pigs. Where concerns are raised, priority shall be given to the unloading of these animals before their planned unloading slot.

5.4.6 The risk assessment shall further consider whether conditions and circumstances (e.g. type and number of vehicles, length of journey time, weather conditions, road accidents) would allow the pigs to remain on the vehicle, without detriment to their welfare, until the planned arrival slot. 

5.4.7 Where the AWO decides that it is acceptable for the pigs to remain on the vehicle, welfare of the pigs shall be monitored at regular intervals (not less than every hour) and details recorded.

5.4.8 The risk assessment study and any monitoring shall be readily available for review by the service provider.

5.4.9 The unloading of pigs shall be carried out in a calm manner so as not to compromise the welfare of the pigs. 

5.4.10 Documented routine monitoring of the process shall be carried out by the AWO or competent deputy.

5.4.11 The condition of all pigs shall be monitored during unloading. 

5.4.12 Animals identified by the OV/AWO as being in distress shall be segregated and dealt with in accordance with a documented SOP for casualty pigs. 

5.4.13 Pigs considered by the OV/AWO to require emergency slaughter shall be excluded from the BMPA Pig Welfare, Slaughter, and Biosecurity module. Records shall be kept demonstrating the control and segregation of pigs excluded from the charter.

5.4.14 The site shall operate a system for the recording and reporting back to producers where the cleanliness and/or condition of pigs is considered unsatisfactory. Persistent offenders shall be reported to the appropriate assurance scheme by the abattoir.

5.4.15 The site shall grade the pigs on cleanliness at the point of arrival to ensure they are fit for slaughter

5.4.16 After unloading, the pigs shall be held in clean pens. 

5.4.17 Pigs from different farms shall not be mixed but sub-division is permissible.

5.4.18 Records shall be maintained of all deliveries and the lairage pens to which the pigs have been allocated.


5.4.1 to 5.4.2 The site shall have in place a system that can measure the angle between the tail ramp and the unloading facilities. Further guidance can be obtained by reference to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Transport Scheme. The animal welfare officer is responsible for monitoring livestock vehicles against the transport checklist (see Appendix 2).

5.4.3 to 5.4.8 Livestock vehicles would normally arrive within 30 minutes of their planned arrival time. The scope of the documented risk assessment shall have considered potential welfare issues arising from unscheduled delivery times e.g. weather conditions or unforeseen road traffic management controls e.g. accident. 

5.4.9 to 5.4.10 Procedures shall be in place to ensure that legislation and industry standards are being met.

5.4.11 to 5.4.13 Traceability of excluded pork raw material shall be retained.

5.4.14 to 5.4.15 Records of communication to the producer shall be retained. The report to the producer shall include a requirement of the producer to instigate immediate corrective action and a system for continual monitoring. The producer shall be expected to report/liaise with the abattoir.


5.4.1 to 5.4.2 Records of measurements and examples of transport checklists since the last audit. Where applicable, any non-conformances raised since the last audit shall be accompanied by evidence of correspondence to RTA and the BMPA service provider.

5.4.3 to 5.4.8 The auditor shall require verification from the charter participant of the planned arrival system used including the welfare advice given to the livestock vehicle drivers. Copy of risk assessment study and records of welfare monitoring. Records relating to the time the livestock vehicle arrived at the security point at the site to the unloading of the last pig at the lairage, and the system by which drivers notify sites of any delays should be reviewed.

5.4.9 to 5.4.10 Visual inspection. Examples of records since the last audit.

5.4.11 to 5.4.13 Animals may display signs of distress such as reluctance to move and panting. As the competent individual, the OV/AWO will make the decision whether the animal is too stressed to move and therefore requires immediate killing and exclusion from the charter, or whether it may be moved to an isolation pen to recover prior to slaughter and processing in the usual manner. Review of staff training records. List of casualties and traceability records. Review SOP for dealing with casualty pigs and their exclusion from the charter.

5.4.14 to 5.4.15 Visual inspection of pigs on arrival, using a grading system such as 1-5 based on photographic standards. Examples of monitoring records. 

5.4.16 to 5.4.18 Examples of lairage intake records and verification of system of allocating pigs to pens and any sub-divisions that may have occurred. Records should be sampled.

5.5 Handling injured or unfit pigs

The requirements for the handling of injured or unfit pigs are as follows:

5.5.1 The site shall have a system in place for the identification and isolation of casualty and unfit pigs on the livestock vehicle and in the lairage

5.5.2 A documented SOP shall be in place covering emergency slaughter, the use of isolation pens and handling of casualty/unfit pigs. Training records for staff involved in these duties shall be available.

5.5.3 The isolation pen shall be fit for purpose, clearly identified, used only for the purpose of isolation, and be available for use whilst pigs are being received and kept in the lairage. 

5.5.4 Fresh/clean water shall be available at all times.

5.5.5 Adequate, clean and dry bedding shall be available.

5.5.6 Pigs shall not be held in isolation pens if it would cause them distress to do so. – the OV/AWO shall carry out a documented risk assessment and record all actions taken.

 5.5.7 Records shall be held for all casualties. The appropriate movement documentation shall accompany any casualty to the abattoir.


All lairage personnel shall be aware of the procedures and have been trained against the system. Isolation pens shall not be used for the storage of materials e.g. redundant equipment. Where bedding is required e.g. over-night lairaging then this can be either wood chips, straw, rubber matting or shredded paper

The site should have the European Commission factsheet on handling and movement of pigs available. This can be found here


Review facilities, staff training records, and examples of lairage records, emergency slaughter records and admission of any casualty pigs.

5.6 The lairage

5.6.1 The site shall have documented SOP`s for the cleansing and disinfection of the lairage and staff shall be trained against it. As a minimum, the documented procedures shall detail the following requirements: 

  • methodology of cleansing to 
  • include disinfection
  • frequency of cleansing
  • cleaning chemicals to use
  • chemical dilution rates
  • contact times
  • safe use and storage of cleaning chemicals
  • review of cleaning standards

5.6.2 The lairage shall be fit for purpose, well maintained, with adequate lighting and ventilation and laid out in a manner that allows the easy movement of pigs without compromising animal welfare

5.6.3 All pigs shall be able to lie down in the lairage pen simultaneously. 

5.6.4 The stocking density shall not exceed 235kg per square metre. Evidence of stocking density calculations are to be available.

5.6.5 The plan of lairage pens in square metres with allocated stocking numbers for day and night time holding shall be available in the lairage.

5.6.6 Pigs must be grouped appropriately to avoid fighting, bullying, injury or distress

5.6.7 While in the lairage, pigs shall have access to an adequate supply of fresh clean water always.

5.6.8 Daily checks shall be undertaken to ensure that there is an adequate supply of fresh clean water for pigs in the lairage always.

5.6.9 The site shall have a documented plan for contingency should there be an interruption in water supply

5.6.10 Facilities shall be in place for the showering (misting) of pigs within the lairage pen.

5.6.11 Documented procedures for the operation of the system shall be in place and consider any potential welfare implications aligned to the temperature of water and its usage during cold weather.

5.6.12 Daily checks shall be undertaken to monitor and record that the showering system is functioning satisfactory.

5.6.13 Pigs held for over 12 hours shall be given adequate farm assured feed in accordance with the relevant pig farm assurance standard. 

5.6.14 Records of feeding shall be maintained and be traceable.

5.6.15 Standard operating procedures (SOP`s) shall be readily available that outline guidance on how to facilitate the movement of pigs within the lairage up to the point of stunning.

5.6.16 All staff handling or monitoring live pigs shall have a valid certificate of competency against these procedures. Training records shall be maintained.

5.6.17 Driving boards, paddles or mechanised moveable gates may be used to move pigs in the required direction. 

5.6.18 Electric goads shall not be used by either site personnel or drivers. 


5.6.1 It is anticipated that the cleansing of pens between batches would be through use of hot water only given that there shall be animals remaining in the lairage, with a full chemical clean being carried out as a minimum weekly when the lairage is empty of livestock.

5.6.2 to 5.6.6 When calculating the stocking density of pens the site shall consider the size of the pigs to determine the maximum number in any one lairage pen. Lairage personnel shall be aware of stocking densities. Pigs from different farms should not be mixed.

5.6.10 to 5.6 12 Refer to the Guide to Good Practice – Welfare at Slaughter for further guidance.

5.6.16 Personnel shall be able to demonstrate good animal welfare practices.


5.6.1 Review training records and copy of cleaning manual. Review examples of hygiene and lairage staff training records. 

5.6.2 to 5.6.6 Review lairage plan, Calculations of stocking densities. Visual inspection of pigs in pens and perceived stocking densities.

5.6.7 to 5.6.9 Daily documented checks of water supply. Visual inspection of facilities. Contingency plan.

5.6.10 to 5.6 12 Daily documented checks of showering system. Visual inspection of facilities.

5.6.13 Review of farm assurance certificate of assurance for pig feed, feeding records and delivery notes of feed delivered to the site.5.6.16 Procedures aligned to animal welfare. Training records for staff, and wall notices/work instructions detailing the pig handling requirements Visual inspection of animal handling.

6.1 Standard operating procedure (SOP) for slaughter

6.1.1 SOP`s shall be in place that cover the full scope of the stunning and slaughter process including, where relevant, species segregation – staff training records shall be available to demonstrate task competency (certs of competency), welfare awareness, and the actions to be taken should welfare be compromised. Refer to note 1.3 in Appendix 2 of this module for useful publications that provide guidance on humane killing and captive-bolt stunning.

6.1.2 Shackling operatives shall assess pigs for the effectiveness of the stun – it is expected that this shall incorporate an unrecorded check for rhythmic breathing and corneal reflex.

6.1.3 An AWO shall carry out a daily recorded check to demonstrate the effectiveness of the stun. 

6.1.4 Re-stuns shall be undertaken as necessary and documented records maintained for each incident.

6.1.5 If it is found that animals are not being effectively stunned, the slaughter line shall be stopped immediately, root cause established, and remedial action taken. All incidents and resulting actions shall be documented.

6.1.6 The AWO shall be responsible for reviewing and identifying trends relating to animal welfare on site and have the appropriate authority to take appropriate action to resolve any concerns that are raised.


Visual inspection. Copy of SOP. Examples of records for re-stuns since the last audit. Evidence of trends and action taken where appropriate.

6.2 Stunning

6.2.1 The number of pigs within the stunning area shall be proportionate to the activities being undertaken.

6.2.2 Where pigs are electrically stunned using the floor stun method, the group size shall be managed to allow two operatives working in the pen (one stunning and one shackling) to minimise the stun-stick interval.

6.2.3 Where gas stunning equipment is used it shall be designed to maintain welfare and ensure an effective stun and kill is achieved.

6.2.4 Back-up stunning equipment shall be provided for use if the primary stun method fails or malfunctions.

6.2.5 Following stunning there shall be sufficient space to allow the pig to be placed in the prone position prior to shackling.

6.2.6 A daily documented check shall be carried out to confirm that the maximum stun to stick interval does not exceed: 

  • 15 secs for electrical stunning
  • 75 secs for Co2 stunning

6.2.7 Maintenance records shall be available for all stunning equipment (primary and back-up) used. 

6.2.8 Evidence of annual calibration records shall be available for all stunning equipment (primary and back-up).


Electrical Stunning: Minimum stun times and voltages are stated in legislation. Under no circumstances shall the operative who is shackling the pig also bleed the pig from within the stunning area. The sticking (bleeding) operation shall be undertaken by a separate operative. 

Gas Stunning: The equipment is designed to: – measure, display and record gas concentrations and the time of exposure, maintain gas concentration, allow pigs to be monitored in the stunner and accessed without delay, allow atmospheric air to be promptly flushed through the stunner , avoid compression of the chest of a pig , enable a pig to remain upright during consciousness , enable a pig to see other pigs as it is conveyed through the stunner , allow pigs to see their surroundings (through lighting). There should be Systems in place, that visibly and audibly to alert an operator of drops in gas concentration and equipment failure. Records are kept for at least one year and the manufacturer’s operational instructions are followed


Visual inspection. Evidence of back up equipment, maintenance records and calibration records where applicable since last audit. 

The auditor shall record several pigs stun to stick times. Maintenance and calibration records for primary and back-up stun systems.

Effectiveness of captive bolt: the effectiveness of the captive bolt penetration requires varication. Annual calibration is required also.

6.3 Sticking & bleeding

6.3.1 The sticking process shall be severing the major blood vessels to create a good free-flowing bleed out.

6.3.2 A daily documented check shall be carried out to confirm that the minimum uninterrupted bleed out time is not less than 90 secs.

6.3.3 To avoid cross-contamination due to the significant bunching of carcases in the bleed area shall be avoided.


Visual inspection of the process. Review bleed out records. Record sample of pigs bleeding time.

7.1 Standard operating procedure (SOP) for carcase dressing

Standard operating procedure (SOP) for carcase dressing

7.1.1 The site shall have standard operating procedures (SOP`s) that clearly define the desired quality attributes required for clean carcases.

7.1.2 All carcases shall be scalded, de-haired, singed and scraped to produce a firm, clean and undamaged rind. 

7.1.3 Carcases shall be carefully opened, and the back-bone split centrally down to the head to enable complete removal of the spinal cord. 

7.1.4 The ventral (belly) face of the carcase shall be opened carefully, either manually or by use of automated opening robots, to ensure that gut content does not contaminate the meat surface during viscera removal. 

7.1.5 Minor gut contamination shall be removed by manual trimming.

7.1.6 Where carcases become heavily contaminated due to burst gut incidents e.g. excessive intestinal content spillage, they shall be standard operating procedures (SOP`s) in place that identify and segregate contaminated carcases that are excluded from the charter.

7.1.7 Viscera and pluck shall be removed in such a way that offal does not touch the working platform at the removal point.

7.1.8 A system shall be available for informing producers of any partial or complete carcase condemnation.

7.1.9 Records of communication of condemned carcases with the producer shall be retained.

7.1.10 The health mark shall be applied to each side of the carcase after post mortem inspection and in addition there shall be an identification number that confirms the slaughter date.


For manual opening, the blade of the operatives’ knife may be inverted whilst opening the ventral face of the carcase to minimise the risk of inadvertently puncturing the viscera. Contact the BMPA for visual guidance on levels of burst gut contamination.

7.1.8 The system for informing the producer shall be appropriate.


Visual inspection of process and carcases. Verify system for excluding heavily contaminated carcases from charter.

7.1.8 Examples of records of communication since the last audit.

7.2 Dealing with pigs not eligible for the Pork Charter

7.2.1 The site shall have standard operating procedures (SOP`s) in place for the identification, segregation, handling and forward traceability of pigs that are not eligible for the BMPA Quality Pork Charter.

7.2.2 There is NO maximum dead weight for boar carcasses. The processor will agree the dead weights they require to meet their customer requirements/specifications.

7.2.3 The charter participant shall record the P2 measurement of the carcase and make the information available to the further processor. 


The site shall demonstrate that pigs, which have been excluded from the charter, have not been despatched or further processed on site as BQAP. 


Review traceability systems, procedures, training and P2 measurement records since the last audit. 

7.3 Chilling and storage temperatures

7.3.1 After post mortem inspection the carcases shall be transferred without delay to a temperature-controlled environment. 

7.3.2 Storing hot and cold carcases in the same chiller shall be avoided. 

7.3.3 The chilling regime shall be designed and monitored to ensure that the deep muscle temperature does not fall below +10°C during the first three hours of the cooling cycle.

7.3.4 The temperature of deep musculature shall be reduced to less than +5°C within 24 hours of the commencement of the cooling cycle and prior to further processing.

7.3.5 Air and deep muscle product temperatures shall be monitored and recorded to ensure ‘cold shortening’ is being controlled.


It is important to ensure that sides are spaced evenly to ensure a continuous air flow around the side. Storing hot and cold carcases in the same chiller shall be avoided to prevent a build-up of condensation on the carcase and any potential rise in the internal temperature of previously cooled carcases from occurring. 

The carcase temperature probe is invariably placed in the deep musculature of the hindquarter and/or forequarter. Carcase cooling profiles shall be established and verified. Air and product temperatures shall be monitored and recorded to ensure ‘cold shortening’ is being controlled.


Visual inspection of chill store, copy of carcase cooling profiles. Copy of product temperature records covering the period since the last audit. As a minimum this may include annual cooling validation of each carcase chill when it is full.