Technical Note: Rabbit welfare during electrical stunning and slaughter at a commercial abattoir
Keywords:rabbit, welfare, electronarcosis, stunning, slaughter
AbstractA total of 1020 crossbreed rabbits were individually examined to evaluate their welfare during electric stunning and slaughter in a commercial abattoir. Stunning (the position of electrodes and repetition of applications of current) and sticking (the position, length and depth of the cut) procedures were checked. The rabbits were monitored behaviourally from the application of the current to death. The stunning system was incorrectly applied one hundred and ten times (10.8%). Three rabbits failed to be stunned and were still conscious at sticking. Eighteen rabbits recovered before the onset of death, as shown by their corneal reflex and in a few cases, vocalization (n=3) and head movement (n=1) were observed. Corneal reflex seemed to be the best indicator of recovery at the abattoir.
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