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Animal Welfare
Sensibility during slaughter without stunning in cattle
  1. John Cranley
  1. Cheshire
  1. e-mail: johnjcranley{at}

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IN almost four decades and in many locations in these islands, I have had the privilege of and responsibility for animal welfare in many contexts, including serving as an OVS and OV in ritual slaughter plants.

The following matter needs to be addressed. In his seminal works on the circulus arteriosus in Cerebri Anatome in 1664 and De Anima Brutorum in 1672, Thomas Willis described the blood supply to the base of the brain in a number of animal species and, more importantly, founded the discipline of clinical neuroscience. The detailed comparative physiology and species differences between ovine and bovine brain vascular supply were further elucidated by Baldwin and Bell (1963a). They described the vascular supply to the calf's brain from the carotid and the vertebral arteries. The common carotid bifurcates to give the larger external carotid, which becomes the internal maxillary; this supplies the (carotid) rete mirabile. The other part of the bifurcation in the immature calf is the internal carotid, which reduces in size as the animal matures, and also supplies the (carotid) rete mirabile. In all cases, the (carotid) rete mirabile supplies the circle of Willis via the residual portion of the internal carotid. The vertebral artery via the basioccipital plexus supplies the (carotid) rete mirabile and via …

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