Studies were made of the behavioural and physiological reactions of cattle undergoing ritual slaughter in the Weinberg holding pen, in which the animal is inverted, and in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) pen, in which the animal is standing. Behaviour was analysed with reference to the duration of the slaughter procedures by recording activities on an ethogram. Blood samples taken at slaughter were analysed for cortisol levels and haematocrit, and intramuscular pH was measured 45 minutes and 24 hours after slaughter. A wide range of activities was displayed in the ritually slaughtered cattle and these were particularly pronounced in the Weinberg pen. The mean time spent in the Weinberg pen was eight times longer than the time spent in the ASPCA pen. The cortisol and haematocrit values of cattle slaughtered in the Weinberg pen were significantly greater than those of cattle slaughtered in the ASPCA pen or cattle slaughtered conventionally. The results indicate that animals in the Weinberg pen experienced more stress than those in the ASPCA pen.
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