FAQ 

Below you can find answers to the most common questions. For other questions, do not hesitate to contact us.


THE METHOD

How does HEFT's technology perform on animal welfare criteria?

In the EU regulation 1099/2009 there is no definition given for animal welfare. Instead, it describes that many killing methods are painful for animals, and that it is therefore necessary to induce a lack of consciousness and sensibility before, or at the same time as the animals are killed . In order to evaluate the consciousness and sensibility of the animals during stunning, stunning needs to be performed under scientifically approved methodology, carried out to evaluate the efficiency of the procedure under practical conditions. Monitoring stunning efficiency is mainly based on evaluation of consciousness and sensibility of the animals.

The HEFT technology was evaluated during the CONTURE 1 project, carried out by RISE in 2019 (Lindahl et al. ). A series of experimental studies on 60 pigs (20 per treatment) was conducted to evaluate pigs’ behavioural and physiological responses to the stunning method with nitrogen gas foam and to assess the stunning process (i.e. time to loss of posture and stunning quality).

The main conclusion is that the study offers clear proof of concept for using nitrogen filled foam for stunning of pigs before slaughter. The pigs did not show any aversive behaviours to the nitrogen filled foam, and the available literature and personal opinions of experts suggest that the Anoxia method will be an improvement in terms of animal welfare.

What are the advantages of using HEFT's method comparing to other methods?

There are many advantages of using the HEFT method and applications. The main advantage is that the method minimizes stress and pain for the animals, which makes it a humane stunning method. Other advantages are: low animal to human contact, easy to work with, scalable, integrated solution for disinfection and low environment impact gas nitrogen. Read more about our applications under page On Farm and Emergency Response. 

Does the foam itself have an impact on animal welfare?

In order to determine the impact of the foam, research has been conducted by RISE (Research Institute of Sweden). One of the conclusions was that pigs did not show any strong aversive behaviours when exposed to foam, and that the study offers clear proof of concept for using nitrogen filled foam for stunning of pigs.

Can the same system be used for different animals?

Yes, the same system can be used on many different animals. It is more a question of size and amount when considering choice of HEFT system.

Do you have visibility of the animals during the process?

Yes, all our systems have a see-through lid. In our process we destruct the foam early in order to give a good visibility. 

Additional addon features include video monitoring, sound and oxygen levels. Some parts are mandatory by law, and some parts are optional.

Can the HEFT applications be applied with CO2?

The HEFT method could be applied with CO2, but due to animal welfare concerns the HEFT applications are only used with nitrogen.  

Why is an anoxia method preferred?

Anoxia referes to an environment that has a total lack of oxygen. When animals are exposed to this environment they will immediately lose consiousness whitout any additional stress or pain. For this reason it is the preferred method for stunning of animals. To read more about how the HEFT technology make use of anoxia, see page Technology.   

Anoxia is not to be confused with hypoxia which refers to a partial lack of oxygen. When an animal is being exposed to an hypoxic environment for stunning, it will notice the lack of oxygen and panic due to difficulty breathing. Example of a method that is based on hypoxia is carbon dioxide gassing, which is known for causing stress and pain to the animal. 

In what situations can HEFT's applications be applied?

For non-viable, sick or injured pigs and poultry. The technology can be used to process both single animals and groups of animals. 

TECHNICAL 

What are the different sources of nitrogen that can be used for HEFTs systems?

The only requirement of the nitrogen is that it is at or above 98% purity. Depending on the system different pressures will be required. Most of our systems operate between 6 and 10 bar(g).

Most of our customers use high pressure nitrogen bottles with a regulator. 
Other option is to use a small nitrogen generator. To find out which would be best for your farm contact HEFT directly!

How much nitrogen does the HEFT systems use?

Each system will use a different amount of gas depending on the volume of the container. 
For example the H1(single tier) will use roughly  340Nl of nitrogen. Which means you could use a 300bar 20litre for about 17 times before needing a refill.

Is it possible to use the same control unit to different HEFT machines?

HEFT has two control systems. One for our On Farm solutions (H1 and C1), called DS1. And one for our larger Emergency Response application (C3), called DS2.

How much nitrogen is needed to fill a 20ft container?

It depends on the height of the container but on average (130 cm height) we use about 24 Nm3 of nitrogen. When in use the system uses 17 Nm3/minute of gas.

LEGISLATIONS

In which countires are the HEFT method approved as an application?

The HEFT method is currently approved as an application for pigs and poultry in The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, The UK and Australia. It is under derogation to be approved in France and Finland. 

On which animals are the HEFT method approved to be applied on?

According to the EU 2009/1099 the HEFT method is approved on pigs and poultry. 

As gas technology allows for group stunning, what would be an acceptable group size?

The space must be sufficient for animals to stand upright in their natural position, without being hindered in their natural movements.

The HEFT recommendations for the number of animals that can be processed are based on European Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations . In practice, described in the HEFT application user manual, the capacity of the equipment is explained based on the footprint per animal, related to the floor space in the container. The norm space that is used to calculate the maximum number of animals is doubled to create sufficient room for the foam to expand.

Why isn't the HEFT method approved to use in certain countries ?

According to the EU 2009/1099 the method is approved for application on pigs and poultry, but many countries doesn’t mention nitrogen based methods as an approved application in their national legislation. Many countries are in progress of derogation since the proof of principle of nitrogen anoxia high expansion foam technology has been done.

USAGE

Is any education or license required to use HEFT's applications?

Yes, to use a HEFT application you require a personel education and certification by HEFT. Education and certification are done online via HEFT.

In some countries it is mandatory by law to have a veterinarians approval. 

Can anyone within our farm or operation run the HEFT machine?

Yes, as long as the person itself have done the education and certification. Only users over 18 years old are allowed. 

What does HEFT's user certification mean?

The HEFT user certification means that you have completed the education and passed the test. This means you are well understood with handeling of farm animal in a stress and pain free way and how to run the procedure. 

What does HEFT's farm certification mean?

The first time your farm or company orders a HEFT application the farm/company will need to have a HEFT farm certification. This means:

  1. You have done the HEFT user certification
  2. The HEFT systems have arrived
  3. A local veterinary will be booked to check and control that the users are aware and know how to run the system. This is always done with the responsible operators of the farm/company.
  4. The farm/company has now a HEFT farm certification.

SAFETY

Is the process safe for the operator?

Yes it’s safe for the user when the HEFT systems are operated correctly according to the instruction laid out in the HEFT user manual. There are general rules and regulations for the use of industrial gasses, such as nitrogen, stipulated in the environmental permit (local fire department). 

PURCHASE ON FARM CONCEPT 

How do I buy a HEFT application?

The HEFT systems is offered both for purchase and in the form of a well-designed service package against a monthly fee. Please contact us for futher information, either we help you directly or connects you with our reseller partner in your country. 

How do we know what application fits our operation?

Depending on what kind of animals, how many animals, size (weight), situation and how often the application is needed; HEFT will give recommendation of the best solution.