11 June 2009

Pain in animal slaughter


Cutting calves throats hurts, study says...

A re-evaluation of the need to stun calves prior to slaughter by ventral-neck incision : An introductory review.: "

N Z Vet J. 2009 Apr; 57(2): 74-6
Mellor DJ, Gibson TJ, Johnson CB

Commercial slaughter of farm livestock usually employs an extensive incision that severs the soft tissues of the neck including the major blood vessels supplying and draining the brain. It is intended to cause a catastrophic decrease in cerebral blood flow with rapid onset of unconsciousness or insensibility. The tissues of the neck are innervated with nociceptive nerve fibres and their transection will cause a barrage of sensory impulses. Consciousness, and therefore the ability of the animal to feel pain and experience distress after the incision, may persist for 60 seconds or longer in cattle. These observations suggest that livestock may experience pain and distress during the period before they become unconscious (insensible). Psychological shock and fear may also be associated with the extensive tissue damage and blood loss. Pre-incision stunning has been adopted as a precautionary measure to prevent suffering. However, the question remains: How intense and noxious are these experiences? Recent methodological developments related to quantitative analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG) allow the experience of pain to be assessed more directly than has hitherto been possible. This methodology has now been applied to the question of the slaughter of calves by ventral-neck incision. The new information demonstrates clearly for the first time that the act of slaughter by ventral-neck incision is associated with noxious stimulation that would be expected to be perceived as painful in the period between the incision and loss of consciousness. These data provide further support for the value of stunning in preventing pain and distress in animals subjected to this procedure."

(Via HubMed - pain.)

1 comment:

Native said...

Hi Adam,
First off I am glad I found your blog, excellent informational source.

I own a hunting ranch/company and also the company: Native Hunt Enterprises Inc. has its own Blog to compliment our website.

One of the most frequently questions/accusatory arguments which the animal rights people pose is the pain threshold of an animal.
They believe that an animal feels pain the same as a human.

What are the science based facts behind this statement, and what are the scientific findings concerning the amount of nerve endings per square inch of tissue in Humans as opposed to animals?

Thank you so much for your time to answer this question.