Optimization of stunning electrical parameters to improve animal welfare in a poultry slaughterhouse

  • Mariagrazia Girasole | mariagrazia.girasole@unina.it Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.
  • Claudia Chirollo Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.
  • Marina Ceruso Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.
  • Lucia Vollano Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.
  • Antonio Chianese Department of Prevention and Veterinary Service of Food Hygiene, Local Health Unit Napoli 2 Nord, Naples, Italy.
  • Maria Luisa Cortesi Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.

Abstract

Animal killing for food production and the related operations are events that may induce pain, stress, fear and other forms of suffering to the animals. To face this problem and guarantee the animal welfare, the EU has adopted the Regulation (EC) N. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Electrical water bath stunning is one of the methods used in commercial slaughterhouses to protect poultry welfare. In particular, this method induces unconsciousness into the birds due to run of electrical current through the head and body. The aim of the present work was to find an optimal setting of electrical parameters to obtain an effective water bath stunning in a commercial poultry slaughterhouse. Moreover, the influence of the tested electrical parameters on meat quality was evaluated. All the experiments confirmed that high stunning frequencies induce a lower occurrence of lesions on carcasses but, on the other hand, require greater current intensities to be effective. A frequency of 750 Hz and an average current intensity of 200 mA for each bird in the water bath resulted as the best combination of electrical parameters to obtain a proper stunning without any consequence on the meat quality.

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Published
2015-09-08
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Stunning, Water bath, Poultry, Animal welfare
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How to Cite
Girasole, M., Chirollo, C., Ceruso, M., Vollano, L., Chianese, A., & Cortesi, M. L. (2015). Optimization of stunning electrical parameters to improve animal welfare in a poultry slaughterhouse. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2015.4576

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