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Cattle passageway cattle cow abattoir equipment

The holding pens is one part of a cattle/cow abattoir slaughter line based on slaughterhouse design. For food safety purposes, many countries have management methods and rules about living cattle or cow being slaughtered by cattle or cow abattoir & slaughtering line equipment or machines. It is necessary for all the cattle halal abattoirs or cow slaughter houses to follow.

The article will introduce 5 key points to manage the holding pens (pre-slaughter area) for cattle/cow abattoir or slaughter house line (click here to watch how a cattle/cow abattoir & slaughtering line equipment/machines work).

Cattle passageway cattle cow abattoir equipment
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1.Checking the certificate of conformity

  • Before unloading live cattle or cows into cattle slaughter house or abattoir plant, a certificate of conformity issued by the supervising agency of animal epidemic prevention of origin should be obtained.
  • The truck should be observed. If no abnormalities found, unloading is allowed after conformity of certificate and cargo.

2.Counting and Inspection

After counting the number of live cattle /cows, drive healthy cattle into the slaughter pens (pre-slaughter area) by tapping or traction, and manage them based on the health status of cattle. The area/space for slaughter pens should be designed based on 3-4 ㎡ per cattle/cow.

3.Stopping feeding

  • Before being slaughtered, live cattle or cows to be slaughtered should stop feeding for 12-24 hours, in order to eliminate fatigue during transportation and return to their normal physiological state. It is necessary to supply adequate water(preferably salt water) for cattle/cows drinking. Salt water can help the carcass reach mortal stiffness after slaughter and reduce the pH value, thereby inhibiting the reproduction of microorganisms and preventing the carcass from being contaminated.
  • During the period of rest, the quarantine personnel should observe regularly.
  • If any suspicious cattle or cows are found, they should be sent to the isolation pen for observation.
  • Sick cattle/cows should be sent to the emergency slaughter room for treatment.
  • Healthy cattle/cows should stop drinking water 3 hours before being slaughtered.

4.Shower /cleaning

  • Before the cattle/cows enter the slaughter house or abattoir, they must first be showered to wash or clean the dirt and microorganisms on their bodies.
  • The water pressure should be controlled when showering, so as not to cause excessive stress to the cattle/cows.


  • In order to prevent the cattle from panic, the cattle to be slaughtered should not be allowed to see the scene in the workshop.
  • After the pre-slaughter inspection, the qualified hairy cattle will be led to the weighbridge along the designated passageway.
  • After weighting, the cattle/cows enter the cattle-driving passageway. From the perspective of animal welfare and humanity, the cattle cannot be driven by violence. Violent drive will cause emergency response and affect the beef quality.
  • It is necessary to design a “lost” form to allow cattle/cows to enter the slaughter workshop consciously. The width of the cattle-driving passageway is generally designed to be 900-1,000 mm.

Next article is ” Cattle/Cow Abattoir Slaughter Line Process 1: Killing & Bloodletting“.

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