Scientific Opinion on the electrical parameters for the stunning of lambs and kid goats

June 2013
EFSA Journal;Jun2013, Vol. 11 Issue 6, pn/a
Academic Journal
The Panel on Animal Health and Welfare was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on two studies performed by IRTA: 'Evaluation of the electrical stunning effectiveness in sheep with a current intensity lower than 1 Ampere' and 'Evaluation of the electrical stunning effectiveness with electric currents lower than 1 A in lambs and kid goats'. To achieve this, the first step was to define the type of study, critical variables, experimental design, data collection and analysis and reporting needed to supply scientific evidence that a given electrical stunning protocol of small ruminants provides a level of animal welfare at least equivalent to that ensured by the use of a minimum current of 1 A. These criteria were then applied to the two IRTA studies. The submitted studies are not adequate for a full welfare assessment of the alternative method studied because they do not fulfil the eligibility criteria and the reporting quality criteria defined in this opinion. The shortcomings of the studies are identified to make clear where improvements are required. To be considered for a full assessment of the welfare implications of the use of minimum currents lower than 1 A for electrical stunning of small ruminants a study must meet the eligibility standards described herein. A full assessment of the welfare implications of the use of minimum currents lower than 1 A for electrical stunning of small ruminants would need to take into account the restraining methods, the pre-stunning, and the stunning phases of the slaughter process and the correlation of the study findings with the results of other scientific evidence.


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