10 January 2010

After cattle pass antemortem inspection by a veterinarian, they enter a "stun box" or "knock box." At our facility, a captive bolt stunner is used. This steer has been rendered unconscious and will be exsanguinated as soon the slaughtermen get him hoisted.

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2 thoughts on “10 January 2010

    • This can depend on the stunning method, though in the US and most of the developed world a captive bolt is used (sometimes electricity is used, sometimes in association with Halal slaughter). It is possible that an older animal and especially a bull could require more than one “stun” due to the thickness of the skull (see linked HIKE scenario). I have never seen this happen (a bovine “wake up”). In every situation I have been part of or observed, the process was completed within a minute. Temple Grandin provides more information about captive bolt stunning here. Also, USDA FSIS has created various HIKE (Human Interactive Knowledge Exchange) scenarios describing different activities under their jurisdiction — one for captive bolt stunning can be found here.

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