USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a new “Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock” for use in slaughter facilities. The guide intends to promote a systematic approach to achieve compliance with regulatory requirements for humane handling and slaughter of livestock. The guide also provides a sample humane-handling plan and an assessment tool.

FSIS encourages operators of livestock slaughter establishments to follow this guidance. The Agency must receive comments by December 30, 2013. Click here for information on how to file comments.

Under a systematic approach to humane handling and slaughter, FSIS recommends establishments should:

  • Assess the ability of their livestock handling and slaughter practices to minimize distress and injury to livestock.
  • Design facilities and implement handling practices that minimize distress and injury to livestock.
  • Periodically evaluate facilities and handling methods to ensure that they continue to minimize distress and injury to livestock.
  • When necessary, modify facilities and handling methods to ensure that they continue to minimize distress and injury to livestock.

The guide provides step-by step instructions for establishments to conduct an assessment, create a written plan and crerate a record system for compliance with regulations.

View the FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock.