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Cortical function in cattle during slaughter: conventional captive bolt stunning followed by exsanguination compared with shechita slaughter
  1. CC Daly,
  2. E Kallweit and
  3. F Ellendorf
  1. Institute of Food Research, Bristol Laboratory, Langford.


Brain function was examined in adult cattle after conventional captive bolt stunning or shechita slaughter, using eight animals in each treatment. The times to loss of evoked responses (visual and somatosensory) and spontaneous activity in the electro-corticogram were used to determine the onset of brain failure. Captive bolt stunning followed by sticking one minute later resulted in immediate and irreversible loss of evoked responses after the stun. Spontaneous cortical activity was lost before sticking in three animals, and in an average of 10 seconds after sticking in the remaining five animals. The duration of brain function after shechita was very variable, and particularly contrasted with captive bolt stunning with respect to the effects on evoked responses. These were lost between 20 and 126 seconds (means of 77 seconds for somatosensory and 55 seconds for visual evoked responses) and spontaneous activity was lost between 19 and 113 seconds (mean 75 seconds) after slaughter.

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