Webinar: Assessment of consciousness after controlled atmosphere stunning in broiler chickens

Tuesday 2 May 2023, from 10.00h to 12.00h (UTC +2, CEST)

Organized by EURCAW-Poultry-SFA.

The webinar was held via Teams.

Target audience: Official inspectors from the Competent Authorities of the EU MSs

Attendance through invitation only.


The PDF of the presentation is available here.

The webinar recording is available here



Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing requires assessing the state of consciousness of the animals in order to identify whether the stunning and killing have been properly performed.

This webinar aims to guide the official veterinarian on what behavioural indicators should be assessed in broiler chickens during the stunning procedure by means of carbon dioxide in two phases and mixtures of carbon dioxide associated to inert gases. It pretends to elucidate what behaviours are related to aversion to gas, what are the indicators of loss of consciousness and death as well as to differentiate behaviours that broiler chickens may perform when unconscious and thus, behaviours that are not a welfare issue. It will also offer the opportunity for discussion and doubts resolution.


The aim of the webinar was to:

  • Review the main welfare aspects of stunning broiler chickens by exposure to controlled atmosphere
  • Discuss the main results of the EURCAW-Poultry-SFA study on the assessment of welfare during the exposure to alternative mixtures to carbon dioxide in two phases in broiler chickens, evaluated in experimental conditions.
  • Recommend ABIs and their methods of assessment (where and how to do the assessment, during how much time, how to do the sampling), providing video examples.


The webinar was attended by 86 people (102 registered), from 20 EU Member States:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.



10:00-10:10: Introduction EURCAW – A. Velarde

10:10-10:18: Review Stunning of broiler chickens by Controlled Atmosphere Stunning – A. Contreras

10:18-10:38: Technical study Controlled Atmosphere Stunning – S. Rucinque

10:38-10:50: Recommendations – A. Varvaró

10:50-11:00: Sampling – V. Michel

11:00-11:10: Virtual coffee break

11:10-12:00: Discussion


This webinar has been organized within the sub-activity 4.2: Development of course material for specific topics, of the working program 2023-2024.