Meat&Poultry - June 2013 - (Page 74)

From the Corral BY DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN STUNNING evidence and the amperage varies. The ques- ic and clonic phase. The animal will tion that has been asked is: ‘Are volt- remain insensible if the heart stun is age-regulated units humane?’ applied before the clonic (paddling The bottom line is: regardless of phase) stops. This will solve humane circuit design, an electric stunner must concerns about conducting this test. produce an epileptic seizure. I have Failure to do this test would result in observed stunners with fake amperage thousands of animals that may not be meters. There are also units available rendered insensible. that change the frequency of the cur- In many larger plants, simultane- here have been many questions rent to prevent blood-splash damage ous head-to-body stunning is used, about the best way to determine in the meat. Higher frequencies re- where a current is passed through if animals have been rendered insen- duce meat damage, but too high of a both the brain and the heart at the sible by electric stunning. If the ani- frequency will fail to induce a seizure. same time. Many of these units use mal has a true natural blink, it is not Since it is impossible for all plant per- proprietary amperage-regulated and stunned correctly. A natural blink oc- sonnel to become electrical engineers, frequency-regulated circuits. In most curs when the eye makes a complete when I audit a plant I look for clinical larger plants, the stunner is applied for cycle of opening and closing. To test signs that the stunner is actually cre- two to three seconds. The short time for a natural blink, wave your hand ating an epileptic seizure with a ton- makes it possible to see signs of a weak a few inches from the eye. A natural ic (rigid) phase and clonic (kicking, tonic and clonic phase. The clinical blink will look like a live animal in paddling) phase. signs of the seizure are partially at- T the stockyard. tenuated (reduced) by body stun. If Proper stunning I can observe a weak rigid and clonic stunning must induce a grand mal epi- When an animal is correctly stunned phase, I know the stunner is working leptic seizure. Failure to induce a sei- for one to three seconds with a revers- and inducing instantaneous insensi- zure will result in an animal that may ible head-only stun, a clear tonic and bility in the animal. be paralyzed and sensible to pain. In clonic phase of the seizure can be ob- The trend in animal welfare is to many countries, both regulations and served. If the stunner is held on for 30 use animal-based outcome measures. guidelines state that a minimum of seconds, the spine will become depo- The OIE and American Meat Insti- 1.25 amps must be passed through the larized and the seizure will not be ob- tute’s minimum settings are a mini- brain. The original studies were done served. This animal will be insensible mum baseline, but I do not fully trust on small, 100-kg (220-lb.) pigs. The provided that the stunner was capable the meters because I have seen too larger pigs that are being processed of producing a seizure when applied many fake things. It is also not possible today will often require a greater am- for one to three seconds. to safely train auditors and inspectors Research clearly shows that electric When cardiac arrest stunning is to open up electrical equipment and The best electric stunners use an used, the signs of a seizure are difficult test it. To ensure humane slaughter, amperage-regulated circuit. The de- to observe. Stopping the heart masks looking at a meter is not sufficient to sired amperage is set and voltage var- the signs of a seizure. If a sequential determine if electrical stunning is cre- ies. In the US and other countries, stun is used where the current is ap- ating instantaneous insensibility. An there are older, voltage-regulated units plied to the head fi rst and then a sec- inspector or auditor needs to see signs being used. In very small US plants, ond current is applied to the heart, it of a seizure. ■ these units are popular because they is easy to determine that the stunner are much less expensive. With this is working by delaying the heart stun type of unit, the desired voltage is set for a few seconds to observe the ton- perage setting. 74 • Meat&Poultry • June 2013 • Dr. Temple Grandin operates Grandin Livestock Systems Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., and is a faculty member at Colorado State Univ.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - June 2013

Meat&Poultry - June 2013
Table of Contents
Commentary - Now, we're cookin'
Business Notes - China’s Shuanghui makes bid for Smithfield
JBS posts $112.8M in Q1 earnings
COOL opponents vow to press on
Triumph Foods to expand pork facility
Hormel income dips on Jennie-O results, acquisitions
Washington - What’s in a name?
BBQ Report - Low & slow is red hot
BBQ Report - Carnivorous curriculum
Packaging Solutions - Consistency counts
Meat Processing Operations & Engineering - Small but savvy
Rooted in meat
Pushing pests out
Sanitation Tips - Usual suspects
CEO Series - Fit to lead
Ingredient Solutions - Meat makeover
Meat Perspectives - HAACP and more
From the Corral - STUNNING evidence
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
The Insider

Meat&Poultry - June 2013