Electric Stunning of Sheep and Pigs

Electric stunning renders the animal instantly unconscious by passing an electic current through the animal's brain. When it is done properly, the animal does not feel pain.

Safety Tips for Workers

  1. The stunner operator's station must be kept dry.

  2. Stunning wands should be designed so that they can be operated by one hand. Avoid designs where the two electrodes are held separately in each hand. These increase a shock across the chest electrocution hazard.

  3. The operator should wear rubber boots and stand on non-conductive plastic grating.

  4. The restrainer frame and worker walkway structure should be grounded to a perfect ground. However, the side of the restrainer that the stunner operator can touch should be covered with heavy insulating materials such as a plastic meat cutting board.

Other relevant articles on this site

Animal Welfare and Humane Slaughter

Electric Stunning of Pigs and Sheep

Preventing Bloodsplash (Bloodspots)


Grandin, T. 1994. Euthanasia and Slaughter of Livestock. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. Volume 204:1354-1360

Grandin, T. 1994. Methods to reduce PSE and bloodsplash. Allen D. Leman Swine Conference Volume 21 (1994), pages 206-209. College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.

Grandin, T. 1985/86 (with 1997 updates). Cardiac arrest stunning of livestock and poultry. Advances in Animal Welfare Science. M.W. Fox and L.D. Mickley (Editors) Martinus Nijhoff Publisher

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