Best practices for Cattle and Pig handling and stunning

by Dr. Temple Grandin

Updated January 2012

At the February American Meat Institute Animal Handling and Stunning Conference, the results of the 1999 McDonald's audits were presented ("Managing what you measure," M&P, March 2000, page 58). During visits to 42 beef and pork plants a number of best practices were identified, which were shared with the attendees. Animal handling and stunning greatly improved in 1999 compared to my 1996 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture audit. Following is a list of best practices that will improve animal welfare and help reduce pale, soft, exudative meat; bruises; dark cutters; and blood splash. Additional updates were added in 2012:

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