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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Stunning - mechanical stunning

Algers, Bo; Berg, Lotta

Abstract

This article presents the function of the mechanical stunning devices and discusses the brain damage effects and stun quality, as well as stun quality audits. Further, practical considerations mention the use of weapons, as well as various types of restraints to facilitate correct stunning. Captive bolt stunning is routinely used for stunning cattle but can also sometimes be used for other species, including sheep, pigs and domestic poultry. There are two main categories of captive bolt guns: penetrating and non-penetrating, and each category can be powered either by blank cartridges or by pneumatic pressure. Animals must be appropriately restrained to enable an accurate positioning of the captive bolt on the forehead. The bolt velocity, length, diameter and angle of firing determine the effectiveness of stunning, and the kinetic energy impacted on the skull travels to the basal area of the brain. Exsanguination should be carried out without undue delay following captive bolt stunning. Stun quality audits should focus not only on the instance immediately after the application of the shot, but follow the carcass at exsanguination and further until the animal is dead, while checking for signs of sufficient or insufficient stunning.

Published in

Title: Reference module in food science
Publisher: Elsevier