Slaughtering of cattle (slagtning af kvæg)


Process description

The present data refer to slaughtering of cattle in three Danish cattle slaughterhouses in 2001/2002. The main processes are following: 1) the cattle is delivered to slaughterhouse in special trucks, 2) the cattle are stalled for a while, 3) the cattle are stunned and stabbed in the throat and the blood is tapped, 4) the cattle die from blood loss and head, skin, legs and intestines etc. are removed from the dead bodies, 5) the bodies are washed and cut into pieces and the meat is cooled 6) the final product is packed and stored for distribution to the market. Non-edible by-products such as bone and blood and intestine sold to bone meal factories and skins are used for leather production. Wastewater generated during the process is treated more or less (e.g. by screening) before it is diverted to municipal wastewater treatment. Production processes are automated and modern.

Data collection and treatment

All data are derived from Danish Crown's green accounts 2000/2001. All inputs and outputs are determined by averaging data from Holstebro Vest, Tønder and Aalborg except emissions to water which are derived from Tønder's green account. The input mass of living cattle to the slaughterhouse has been estimated by mass balance calculations.

Technical scope

All production processes as well as administration and local wastewater treatment processes are included. Maintenance of equipment, use of cleaning agents and chemicals are not included. Some cattle meat is frozen before distribution to the marked. The freezing process has not been included, but electricity consumption for freezing is about 115 kWh/t (Pontoppidan and Hansen, 2000). Packaging is not included.


About 30% of cattle slaughtered in Denmark are slaughtered in the three considered slaughterhouses.


Inputs and outputs associated with slaughtering in the three slaughterhouses are somewhat lower than observed earlier by Pontoppidan and Hansen (2000). The reason is probably that the cattle slaughterhouses have implemented cleaner production processes in the period between data collection for the two datasets.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs and outputs associated with cattle slaughtering are shown in the table below. Data are provided per ton of cattle meat produced.


    Unit Quantity
Inputs Living cattle t 1.65
Electricity MWh 0.04
Heat MJ 165
Water m3 2.0
Outputs Products    
Cattle meat t 1.00
bone, intestines and blood t 0.65
Emissions to municipal wastewater treatment plant    
BI5 t 0.0036
Total N t 0.0006




Danish Crown (2000/2001). Green account, Holstebro Vest. In Danish.

Danish Crown (2000/2001). Green account, Tønder. In Danish.

Danish Crown (2000/2001). Green account, Aalborg. In Danish.
Pontoppidan O and Hansen P-I (2001). Renere teknologi p
å svine/ og kreaturslaterier. Working report no. 9. Danish Environmental Protection Agency.
In Danish.


Administrative information

Data URL:
Version no.: 1.00
Authors: Per H. Nielsen,
2.-0 LCA Consultants.
Data entry: Data have been entered in this format by Per H. Nielsen
Data completed: 
July 2003.