A conference organised by the European Commission and the Cypriot presidency of the European Union on the "Protection of animals in slaughterhouses: getting ready for 2013" will take place in Brussels this week.
The aim is to ensure smooth implementation of Europe's new animal slaughter rules, which come into force in January.
Slaughterhouses will need to regularly monitor the efficiency of their stunning techniques, appoint a specific person responsible for animal welfare and ensure that staff are properly trained and certified.
Every year, nearly 360m pigs, sheep, goats and cattle as well as several billion poultry are killed in slaughterhouses in the European Union. In addition, about 25m animals are killed for their fur.
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