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Behavioural responses of poultry during kosher slaughter and their implications for the birds' welfare
  1. J. L. Barnett, BSc, PhD1,
  2. G. M. Cronin, BAgrSc, MAgrSc, PhD1 and
  3. P. C. Scott, BSc, BVSc, PhD2
  1. 1 Animal Welfare Science Centre, Department of Primary Industries, 600 Sneydes Road, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia


Measurements were made during Shechita (kosher) slaughter of 692 meat chickens, including the behaviour of the birds during the procedure and the times from their removal from the crate, to neck cutting, bleed-out and shackling. Four of 100 birds showed a mild physical response to neck cutting but the others showed no response. Approximately 60 per cent of the birds showed a physical response to touching the eye or eyelid at up to 5 seconds after neck cutting, but by 15 seconds none showed this response. The birds became unable to retain their posture and suffered involuntary muscular contractions at 12 to 15 seconds after neck cutting and had lost approximately 40 per cent of their total blood volume by 30 seconds after neck cutting.

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