Published September 28, 2023 | Version v1
Project deliverable Open

The main welfare aspects of the different stunning methods in rabbits


This review outlines the methods for stunning rabbits and the indicators used to monitor consciousness. In 2022, Spain, France, and Italy accounted for 88% of the approximately 62 million rabbits slaughtered in the EU. Stunning methods include head-only electrical stunning (used by 93% of slaughterhouses) and captive bolt (preferred by 7%). Nearly all rabbits (99.99%) are stunned using head-only electrical methods. The absence of specific electrical parameters in legislation leads to varying stunning key parameters, with 25% of slaughterhouses using parameters below available information. Common indicators of consciousness include reflexes like corneal or palpebral, breathing, vocalization, tonic/clonic seizures, and spontaneous blinking. Concerns for animal welfare encompass improper handling, ineffective stunning, and extended stun-to-stick intervals. 


EURCAW-Poultry-SFA-DL.3.1.1. Methods for Stunning rabbits and ABIs.pdf

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