World Organisation for Animal Health

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The OIE improved animal welfare programme has been developed as a capacity building programme to assist recipient countries implement OIE animal welfare standards on land transport and slaughter. To date the training programme has been applied for transport and slaughter of cattle, sheep and pigs.

The training programme is designed as a training of trainers programme to train groups of experts who are then able to:

  • train other in-country veterinarians and technical staff at slaughterhouses to apply best practices in pre-slaughter and slaughter
  • assist competent authorities implement the OIE standards on slaughter and transport
  • help academics with their preparation of “animal welfare in pre-slaughter and slaughter” educational materials for undergraduate students


The programme concludes with a workshop where the trainees present what they have learned to veterinary school teachers  and key industry stakeholder colleagues. This final workshop demonstrates what the trainees have learned in a manner that also extends, aligns, and reinforces the importance of animal welfare education and implementation of OIE animal welfare standards to the veterinary education and key stakeholder audience.

Once the trainees have completed their training, the OIE provides ongoing support as they embark on training their colleagues. This includes consultations and free access to all of the audio-visual material OIE has developed for this initiative.

Training approach

Each comprehensive training of trainers programme is designed to impact the three (3) learning domains of the future trainers: namely their cognitive domain or theoretical knowledge; their psychomotor domain or practical skills; and their affective domain or values.

In following this approach, the training programme  developed comprises theoretical in-classroom training, practical in-field training and individual distance learning. We aim to provide a balance of science and practical training with enough time for participants to understand, recognise, and value best practices from the animal welfare viewpoint.

Participants learn the importance of understanding animal behavior and how they see their environment. They learn to appreciate facility design and staff animal interaction from the animal’s point of view, along with possible adjustments that can be made to facility designs and handling procedures to help create a low stress environment that contributes to animal wellbeing 

Practical exercises are held at well-designed slaughterhouses where participants can observe how certain designs and handling practices work better than others. 

The training is run in three training sessions.

During the first training session, participants learn about basic concepts in animal welfare and animal welfare assessment, discrimination between stress and distress, and why animal welfare in pre slaughter and slaughter is important. They learn the basics of animal instinctive and learned behaviors and their sensory modalities, and how they can use that knowledge to assist animal handling, and design of premises to facilitate animal throughput. Design of premises. They then work through the OIE recommendations for animal welfare covering transport including preparation and planning for transport,  loading and unloading, and, lairaging and the design of lairages, ante mortem inspection, restraint prior to stunning or slaughter, stunning methods and the principles of effective stunning, slaughter without stunning.

The practical field training includes:

  • recognition of group and individual animal flight zones and points of balance,
  • using point of balance to separate a small group of animals from the herd in an enclosure, and then  to move them out of the enclosure,
  • using flight zone and animal talkers (tools) to move and load animals on to transport crates,
  • use of contra-movement and crossing animals point of balance principles to handle animals in raceways,
  • comparison of different designs of lairages, ramps and raceways,
  • recognition of distractions in existing ramp and raceway designs,
  • the basic "anatomy" of stunning equipment (where applicable).

During the second training session participants learn about different ways people learn and how to structure training programmes to facilitate easy learning. Participants develop their own presentations , deliver them to their colleagues, and collectively analyse each other’s performance.

At the end of the third training session all participants run a 2 day seminar for in-country stakeholders  and academics on animal welfare inpre-slaughter and slaughter. This event also provides a platform to introduce the participants as future trainers.

Structure of the training programme


Pictures from training programmes

Training in Indonesia, October 2012 - January 2013

Training for the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Philippines, February - April 2013

Training in Turkey, June - August 2013

Training in Vietnam, October - December 2013

Training in Jordan (for participants from Egypt and Jordan), January – March 2014

Training for the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) in Philippines, January – April 2014

Update training on pig welfare for participants from BAI and NMIS in Philippines, June – July 2014

Training in Thailand, May – June 2014

Training in Oman (for participants from Lebanon, Yemen and Oman), May - September 2014

Training in Iran, September - November 2014

Training in South Korea, September - December 2014

Training in Israel, October - December 2014