UK - New research projects funded by the Humane Slaughter Association aim to advance stunning before slaughter methods for poultry.
Two Research Training Scholarships, each for three-year research projects, were awarded to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the University of Bristol.
The research will focus on two important areas for the advancement of humane slaughter of cattle and of turkeys, ducks and geese, with potentially very significant benefits to producers and to animal welfare.
Carlos Rebelo will undertake research at the RVC to assess dry electrical stunning systems for poultry, and aims to develop new constant current stunners or electrode types for turkeys, ducks and geese in small-scale production that will address risks to animal welfare with existing constant voltage devices used for these species.
Awal Fuseini’s project at the University of Bristol is to develop a humane, safe and Halal-compliant method of pre-cut stunning for cattle using a new type of electrical stunning – Single Pulse Ultra-high Current (SPUC).
This type of stunning is expected to result in a reversible stun but with a much longer duration of unconsciousness, and a reduction or elimination of post-stun convulsions.
This should improve personnel safety and reduce delays in neck-cutting that might otherwise see a recovery of consciousness before death. It also has the potential to improve meat quality.
Read the Association's new guidance notes on electrical waterbath stunning by clicking here.