Application of captive bolt to cattle stunning - a survey of stunner placement under practical conditions

Animal. 2012 Jul;6(7):1124-8. doi: 10.1017/S1751731111002667.


In two cattle head deboning plants, a total of 8879 cattle skulls were investigated for number and precision of shots. Deviation from the ideal position on the forehead and the direction of the shot were measured, results were then attributed to three classes of precision. In all, 64.7% of the skulls in plant 1 and 65.3% in plant 2 were shot from the ideal position and in the ideal direction. A medium precision was observed in 31.3% and 31.5% of cases, 4.0% and 3.1%, respectively, of the skulls indicated a poor precision. In both plants, skulls with more than one shot hole were observed. Shot holes may indicate the precision of a shot, and thus the risk of suffering during the sensitive time of stunning. In addition to observations at the time of stunning, the observation of shot holes on skulls at random or in total after a day's slaughter can reflect the shooting precision.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs / standards*
  • Animal Welfare*
  • Animals
  • Cattle*
  • Skull / pathology
  • Unconsciousness / etiology
  • Unconsciousness / veterinary*