Origins of the Double Rail Restrainer System

For the last eighteen years, large beef slaughter plants have been using the V restrainer system for restraining cattle during stunning and shackling. It was invented by Edwards (1972), Schmidt (1972) and Willems and Markey (1972). The V restrainer was a major humane and safety improvement over old style knocking boxes, but there were still problems with it. Cattle balked at the entrance and the stunner operator had to reach excessively to place the cattle bolt stunner in the animal's forehead. Researchers at the University of Connecticut developed a laboratory prototype double rail restrainer for calves and sheep (Giger et al 1977, and Westervelt et al 1976). They determined that it was a good low stress method for holding an animal. Grandin (1988) developed an improved entrance and animal size adjustment mechanism for this system and installed it in a commercial calf and sheep slaughter plant.

Click here to return to the Homepage for more information on animal behavior, welfare, and care.