Recommended Stunning Practices

Stunning an animal correctly will provide better meat quality. Improper electric stunning will cause bloodspots in the meat and bone fractures. Good stunning practices are also required so that a plant will be in compliance with the Humane Slaughter Act and for animal welfare. When stunning is done correctly, the animal feels no pain and it becomes instantly unconscious. An animal that is stunned properly will produce a still carcass that is safe for plant workers to work on.

Determining Insensibility and Effectiveness of Stunning

Proper Cattle Restraint for Stunning

Captive Bolt Stunning

Electric Stunning of Pigs and Sheep

Electric Stunning of Cattle

Carbon Dioxide Stunning

Answers to Questions about Horse Slaughter

Electro-Immobilization is NOT a Humane Method of Restraint

Best Practices for Animal Handling and Stunning

Headholder for holding head in conveyor restrainer (Front View)

Headholder for holding head in conveyor restrainer (Side View)


Grandin, T. 2013. Making slaughterhouses more humane for cattle, pigs, and sheep. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences. 1:491-512. Grandin, T. 2001. Cattle vocalizations are associated with handling and equipment problems at beef slaughter plants.. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Volume 71, 2001, Pg. 191-201.

Grandin, T. 1996. Factors That Impede Animal Movement at Slaughter Plants. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 209 No.4:757-759.

Grandin, T. 1995. Restraint of Livestock. Proceedings: Animal Behaviour Design of Livestock and Poultry Systems International Conference (pages 208-223). Published by: Northeast Regional Agriculture Engineering Service. Cooperative Extension. 152 Riley - Robb Hall, Ithaca, New York, 14853 USA.

Grandin, T. 1994. Euthanasia and Slaughter of Livestock. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. Volume 204:1354-1360.

Grandin, T. 1989 (Updated 1999). Behavioral Principles of Livestock Handling. Professional Animal Scientist. December 1989 (pages 1-11).

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