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Development & testing of alternative stunning & slaughter techniques to reduce post stun convulsions & maintain welfare - MH0125001

Description
Most cattle are stunned with a penetrating captive bolt gun (CBG) prior to slaughter by exsanguination or
pithing. Pithing has been used by the industry to protect operative safety and it is commonly claimed
that pithing has welfare benefits as it prevents recovery in ineffectively stunned animals.

Because of concern about contamination of carcasses with CNS tissue that may contain the BSE agent,
pithing is now prohibited in slaughter ruminants intended for human consumption. However, this new
ban has potential implications for abattoir operators handling carcasses as well as for animal welfare.
The objective of this proposal is to evaluate the consequences of the ban on pithing on current
abattoir practice and to investigate practical alternatives that would both enhance animal welfare and
promote improved operator safety. This proposal is submitted in response to the competitive call by
DEFRA (R38) and the objectives are intended to meet the requirements of the call. The following
objectives are proposed:

Objective 01. Study and review of the current state of abattoir practices for slaughter of cattle since
the introduction of the ban on pithing.

Objective 02.Effects of topical application or injection of physiological electrolytes into the captive bolt hole on animal welfare and post-stun carcass convulsions.

Objective 03. Investigations into the use of non-penetrating captive bolt stunning: assessment
of damage to the cranium and the effects on the intensity of carcass convulsions.
Objective
01: Study and review of the current state of abattoir practices for slaughter of cattle since the introduction of the ban on pithing.
02: Investigate the effects of topical application or injection of physiological electrolytes into the captive bolt hole on animal welfare and post-stun carcass convulsions.
03: Investigations into the use of non-penetrating captive bolt stuning: assessment of damage to the cranium and the effects on the intensity of carcass convulsions.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Development & testing of alternative stunning & slaughter techniques to reduce post stun convulsions & maintain welfare   (10395k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2005

Cost: £206,060
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Bristol
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Livestock              
Plants and Animals              
Slaughter              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare