HKScan Oyj Press Release Feb 15, 2016 1:00 PM

HKScan launches collaboration with animal behaviour expert

HKScan is continuing its systematic efforts to improve animal welfare. HKScan Group slaughterhouses are currently being audited by external animal behaviour experts. The Group will additionally install surveillance cameras in all areas of its slaughterhouses that are critical from an animal welfare viewpoint. It will also provide personnel with additional training on pre-slaughter animal handling procedures.

Noted low stress livestock animal handling and welfare expert Sophie Atkinson to audit all HKScan cattle slaughterhouses

HKScan has enlisted the services of Australian-born, Swedish-based low stress livestock handling and welfare expert with specialist competences in the slaughter industry, Sophie Atkinson. In December Atkinson completed audits of the Paimion Teurastamo slaughterhouse, which is part-owned by HKScan, as well as the Group’s Outokumpu cattle slaughterhouse. Atkinson’s audits covered pre-slaughter animal handling practices, conditions at the slaughterhouses and their plans for improving animal welfare. HKScan and Atkinson have agreed that she will audit all of the Group’s cattle slaughterhouses this year. Similar audits will be carried out at the Group’s other slaughterhouses, in which HKScan will enlist the services of external animal behaviour experts specializing in pigs, poultry and sheep.

“We already have audits performed regularly by authorities and other experts. Authority veterinarians are present at all our production facilities on a daily basis. Most of our production facilities are certified to international standards. Both external and internal audits are an integral part of our policy of continual improvement,” says Pia Nybäck, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Responsibility. “We are additionally audited by many of our customers several times a year.”

“Although our stunning and slaughtering practices have been found to be professionally competent and compliant with animal welfare and slaughter regulations, we want to continue improving our performance by paying greater attention to natural animal behaviour. This is why we have launched this collaboration with external animal behaviour experts,” adds Nybäck.

HKScan to install surveillance cameras to safeguard animal welfare

HKScan will provide its personnel with additional training on preslaughter animal handling. The first sessions will be held at the Paimion Teurastamo slaughterhouse and at HKScan’s Outokumpu unit. Training will continue throughout 2016.

As a further measure to guarantee animal welfare, HKScan will install recording surveillance cameras in the areas of its slaughterhouses that are critical from an animal welfare standpoint. The first cameras were installed last year at the Paimion Teurastamo slaughterhouse, where they have been in use since December. Installation of cameras continues at a few more Group production units. The recorded footage is used by Group animal welfare officers and by the supervising authorities, which improves the efficacy and scope of existing supervisory procedures.

“We adhere to a policy of strictly observing all laws, regulations and practices promoting animal welfare. We also strive to achieve a maximum degree of transparency. We expect to see uniform high standards of animal welfare observed not only at our own slaughterhouses, but also those operated by our associate companies. By offering our personnel additional training in low stress animal handling and welfare, making structural improvements at slaughterhouses and by installing video cameras in areas of critical importance to animal welfare, we will ensure that all animals are treated appropriately and that animal welfare is prioritized at every stage of the process,” concludes Nybäck.

For further information:

Pia Nybäck, Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Responsibility, HKScan Group.
Kindly submit a call-back request to Marja-Leena Dahlskog, SVP Communications, firstname.lastname@hkscan.com or tel. +358 10 570 2142.

 

HKScan is the leading Nordic meat expert. We sell, market and produce high-quality, responsibly-produced pork, beef, poultry and lamb products, processed meats and convenience foods under strong brand names.Our customers are the retail, food service, industrial and export sectors, and our home markets comprise Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics. We export to close to 50 countries. In 2015, HKScan had net sales of approximately EUR 1.9 billion and some 7 400 employees.