Electric Stunning of Sheep

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.

Sheep in a crowd pen moving into a single file race.

Electrical stunning methods used commercially on sheep are effective and induce instantaneous insensibility. A minimum of 1 amp must be passed through the animal's brain to reliably induce insensibility (Gregory and Wotton, 1984).

References :

Electric Stunning
Grandin, T. 1985/1986
Cardiac Arrest Stunning of Livestock and Poultry
in:M.W.Fox and L.D.Mickley (Editors)
Advances In Animal Welfare Science

Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands

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