Proper Cattle Restraint for Stunning
- If a stunning box is used, it
should be narrow enough to prevent the animal from turning around. The
floor should be non-slip so the animal can stand without losing its
footing. It is much easier to stun an animal that is standing quietly.
Only one animal should be placed in each stunning box compartment to
prevent animals from trampling on each other.
- Most large plants restrain cattle in a conveyor restrainer system.
There are two types of conveyor restraints, the V restrainer and the new
center track system. In a V restrainer system, the cattle are held
between two, angled conveyors. In the center track system the cattle
ride astride a moving conveyor.
- A very humane position for cattle.
Cattle are restrained in a
comfortable, upright position.
- The center track system
advantages of easier stunning and improved ergonomics because the stunner
operator can stand closer to the animal. Either type of restrainer system
is much safer for workers than a stunning box. Restrainer conveyors are
recommended for all plants which slaughter over 100 head per hour.
Stunning boxes are difficult and dangerous to operate at higher speeds. In
a plant which slaughtered 160 cattle per hour,
replacement of multiple stunning boxes with a conveyor restrainer
eliminated at least one serious accident each year.
- Center track double rail restrainer. This system is available for
both sheep and cattle.
- Lighting in
the restrainer room over the top of the conveyor will
help induce cattle to raise their heads for the stunner. Cattle should
not be able to see light coming up from under the restrainer because it
may cause balking at the entrance. Restrainer systems should be equipped
with a long, solid hold-down rack to prevent rearing. The hold-down
should be long enough so that the animal is fully settled down onto the
conveyor before it emerges from under it.
- If an animal is walking into the restrainer by itself, do not
poke it with an electric prod. Center rack systems require less prodding to
induce cattle to enter it. Workers need to break the "automatic prod
- Animal entering the center track double rail
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