Electric Stunning of Pigs

Safety Tips for Workers

  1. The stunner operator's station must be kept dry.

  2. Stunning wands should be designed so that they can be operated by one hand. Avoid designs where the two electrodes are held separately in each hand. These increase a shock across the chest electrocution hazard.

  3. The operator should wear rubber boots and stand on non-conductive plastic grating.

  4. The restrainer frame and worker walkway structure should be grounded to a perfect ground. However, the side of the restrainer that the stunner operator can touch should be covered with heavy insulating materials such as a plastic meat cutting board.

Electrical stunning methods used commercially on pigs are effective and induce instantaneous insensibility. A minimum of 1.25 amps must be passed through a pig's brain to reliably induce insensibility (Hoenderken, 1982).

Truck loading ramp for pigs.
Pigs move more easily through a ramp where they walk up side by side. The outer sides of the ramp are solid and the middle partition is "see through" to promote following behaviour.


Grandin, T. 1985/1986
Cardiac Arrest Stunning of Livestock and Poultry
in:M.W.Fox and L.D.Mickley (Editors)
Advances In Animal Welfare Science

Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands

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