New innovative and humane bird welfare tool considered compliant by Red Tractor.
Livetec Systems – one of the leading providers of biosecurity and welfare safeguards, processes, and equipment on British farms – this year released the Livetec NEX, their innovative and humane new cervical neck dislocation tool for poultry, following several years of scientific research and field trials. Red Tractor, the farm and food assurance scheme and Britain’s largest food label, have now confirmed that use of the NEX is in line with the scheme’s requirements: “Red Tractor considers the device, when used correctly, to be compliant with Red Tractor standards,” says Georgina Crayford, Technical Manager for Pig & Poultry at Red Tractor Assurance. “This decision was made following consultation with the members of Red Tractor’s duck, turkey and chicken Technical Advisory Committees.”
This device has been designed to accurately dispatch poultry, game and waterfowl according to humane and compliant guidelines via cervical dislocation (more commonly known as necking). The Livetec NEX is unique in its combination of consistency and convenience – the device can be used in one hand, with no limit on the amount of birds dispatched per day. When used following the included instructions, the NEX is compliant with the European Directive on the Protection of Animals at the time of killing and the UK regulations on the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (also known as WATOK).
Since 2000, Red Tractor have carried out regular inspections to ensure that producers, packers and other operators continually meet the required ethical standards. “Humane treatment of animals has quite rightly risen sharply as a factor in consumer purchasing, said Julian Sparrey, Technical Director at Livetec Systems. “In a 2015 study of 1500 UK consumers by market research company Mintel, almost three quarters (72%) said they expect food producers to meet certain ethical standards, and over half (52%) said they would stop buying products from a company if found to be acting unethically – so we need to get this right”.
Red Tractor’s communication is the latest in a series of industry recognitions received by the NEX. The initial concept was developed during research undertaken by Dr Jess Martin with SRUC and the University of Glasgow, funded by the Humane Slaughter Association Centenary Research Training Scholarship. Dr Martin investigated existing and novel devices for dispatching individual birds. Her research concluded that with regard to reliability, humaneness and consistency the NEX was the most successful novel method.
“We’re delighted that the NEX has been recognised as compliant and humane – both essential requirements during the slaughter process,” says Julian Sparrey. “At Livetec, we work to make humane dispatch more accessible and conducive to boosting productivity for producers in their day-to-day business. Animal welfare is a vital component of protecting farming businesses. With 1.25bn birds reared in the UK, there is enormous pressure on poultry farms to increase output, while at the same time attaining the standards required. NEX helps to make that simple.”
“This goes beyond ethics. Inconsistent and non-compliant slaughter also ultimately has negative effects on the producer’s bottom line. Biosecurity is compromised if infected birds are not dispatched cleanly and quickly, and there can be serious legal and financial consequences for not meeting standards. NEX is part of the toolkit to help all involved in looking after poultry ensure they do so with the utmost attention to bird welfare.”
Visit Livetec Nex for more information.