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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 425250
Title Alternative electrical stunning methods
Author(s) Lambooij, E.; Gerritzen, M.A.; Hindle, V.A.
Source In: HSA Centenary International Symposium : Recent Advances in the Welfare of Livestock at Slaughter, Herts, UK, 30 June - 1 July, 2011. - Herts UK : Universities Federation for Animal Welfare - p. 163 - 163.
Event Herts UK : Universities Federation for Animal Welfare HSA Centenary International Symposium, 2011-06-30/2011-07-01
Department(s) LR - Animal Behaviour & Welfare
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2012
Abstract Current legislation demands that all birds are immediately rendered unconscious at stunning and that they remain insensible until death ensues. The legal minimal current for an individual bird in the water bath is 100 mA. During a survey, large differences were observed between slaughterhouses in the settings for water-bath stunning parameters for broilers. Based on the observed differences in technical settings, and between-animal differences in impedance and in sensitivity, it is highly probable that large numbers of birds are inadequately stunned during current usage of the water-bath technique in slaughterhouses. It was hypothesised that the placement of electrodes in order to bypass the feet and legs would result in efficiency gains by utilising lower currents. Broilers are effectively stunned with a controlled current of 70 and 100 mA for 1 or 1.5 s using a water bath where the head of the broiler is immersed in the water as electrode and a steel electrode at the cloaca as opposite electrode. There are fewer incidences of blood splashes in both fillets and legs of carcases head cloaca stunned compared to those stunned in a conventional water bath. The method is in development for application in practice. An alternative to whole-body electrical stunning is head-only stunning, where the stunning current only passes through the head of the animal. Head-only single-bird electrical stunning was evaluated using a cone-shaped restrainer in which the broilers were suspended by their feet. Broilers may be insensible and unconscious after head-only electrical stunning with pin-electrodes using a current of 190 (± 30) mA for 0.5 s. A set current of 250 mA is recommended to overcome individual differences in resistance. To prevent recovery the stun should be followed by an immediate neck cut. Since carcase quality is only slightly compromised such equipment is being developed further for commercial use. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a recently developed non-invasive technique used in human psychiatry to treat depression with slowly repeated pulses to the frontal lobe or to induce seizures. A study was done to determine whether or not TMS with an adapted coil for broilers has potential for further development as a noninvasive stunning method for broilers. TMS of the brain is a potential alternative for use as a stunning method for broilers. However, more research is required before further development for application as a stunning method.
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