Producers who are involved in slaughtering poultry on farm for commercial sale have been warned by the National Farmers Union (NFU) that they need to gain a Certificate of Competence (CoC) to allow them to continue this activity and invited to register for a relevant training course.
The “invitation” has been issued by the NFU’s chief poultry adviser, Gary Ford (pictured above), pointing out that the law requires producers to hold a CoC, even if only a very small number of birds are involved.
“A CoC is required for any ‘relevant operations’ under the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (WATOK) regulations,” he explained in a letter sent to producers this week. He also warned that those who do not hold a full certificate will not be able to slaughter poultry for the Christmas market unless they do so under the supervision of someone who already holds a full certificate.
Relevant operations include the following skills:
- restraining / handling poultry before stunning or killing,
- stunning poultry,
- assessing if stunning has worked,
- shackling live poultry,
- bleeding stunned poultry, and
- checking whether bleeding has been effective.
The NFU has therefore asked seasonal Christmas suppliers who slaughter poultry, including turkeys, ducks and geese, to call the union and express an interest in undertaking relevant training.
“When you phone us you will be asked for a number of details including the type of slaughter you undertake,” said the union. “This includes items such as electric hand held, captive bolt, head and body electric, water bath, free bullet or other and whether you require certification for turkeys, ducks or geese.”
Producers will also be asked where they’re located, in order to access whether or not sufficient interest exists to run courses in conjunction with an accredited training provider in September / October 2016.
The cost of such courses will be in the region of £100 – £150, depending on uptake, plus the additional cost of accrediting bodies, which as FDQ and FSA, which will be up to £75.
Producers who are interested in attending a course should contact the NFU on 0370 8458458. This is subject to a “strict closing date” to register producer details, which must be completed by Friday, July 29.