Stress in Broiler Chickens Due to Acute Noise Exposure

Stress effects from acute noise exposure were monitored in a group of ROSS 308 broiler chickens (n = 80), aged 42 days. The experiment simulated slaughterhouse sounds to which the broilers were exposed for 10 min in the test enclosure. Effects of acute noise exposure at two different levels (80 dB and 100 dB) were […]

Fish welfare: Current issues in aquaculture

With the continued growth of the aquaculture industry and increasing scientific discussion over the potential for negative events to give rise to suffering, research into the welfare of cultured fish is vital. How we define and measure welfare is cause for debate, particularly in fish. However, research into the effects of aquaculture procedures on welfare […]

An assessment of stress caused in sheep by watching slaughter of other sheep

The question of whether witnessing slaughter of conspecifics is distressing was investigated in sheep. Previously catheterized sheep were allowed to see the stunning and sticking (exsanguination) of other sheep. Heart rate was monitored and serial blood samples were taken to assess stress responses. Although the measurable parameter levels were generally high due to human contact […]

Lack of evidence for stress being caused to pigs by witnessing the slaughter of conspecifics

The effects of witnessing the slaughter of conspecifics on the stress responses of pigs were investigated. Previously catheterized pigs were allowed to see the stunning and sticking (exsanguination) of pigs in a nearby pen. Heart rate was monitored and serial blood samples were taken to assess stress responses. Packed cell volume (PCV), cortisol and. β-endorphin […]

Reactions of Cattle to Head-Restraint at Stunning: A Practical Dilemma

The behavioural reactions and blood cortisol levels of cattle stunned using a penetrating captive-bolt pistol whilst standing free in a stunning box were compared with those obtained from cattle similarly stunned but with their heads held in a hydraulically operated chin-lift type of head restrainer. Few (8 out of 55) animals voluntarily put their heads […]

Methods Used to Kill Fish: Field Observations and Literature Reviewed

This paper reviews the impact on fish welfare of a wide range of slaughter methods used commercially around the world. Because the end result of the slaughter is a food product, and because of the well-known relationship between an animal’s welfare and subsequent meat quality, the effects of the slaughter methods on the quality of […]

A review of the humaneness of puntilla as a slaughter method

Puntilla is a traditional slaughter method in which a knife is plunged into the back of the neck to sever the spinal cord. The aim is to produce immediate collapse of the animal. Puntilla is not condoned as a stunning method by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) because there is concern that the animal […]

Human-animal relationships at sheep and cattle abattoirs

There are accumulating international data in a number of livestock industries that show that a negative attitude by stockpeople towards interacting with pigs, dairy cattle and poultry is correlated with increased levels of fear and stress in farm animals and in turn reduced animal productivity. While most of this research has been on-farm, one study […]

Auditing animal welfare and making practical improvements in beef-, pork- and sheep-slaughter plants

A welfare audit that utilises numerically scored, animal-based outcome measures has been used successfully by McDonald’s and other restaurant companies for over ten years. In 2010, audit data from two restaurant companies indicated that all 30 of their North American plants rendered 95% or more of the cattle insensible with a single shot from a […]

Stress at slaughter in cattle: role of reactivity profile and environmental factors

During slaughter, cattle may be exposed to many potentially stress-inducing factors, of emotional and physical nature. A series of studies aimed to identify factors that may contribute to slaughter stress. During reactivity tests testing emotional stressors, Blond d’Aquitaine bulls were more reactive than Angus and Limousin bulls. However, no breed differences were found for stress […]