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A method to assess unconsciousness and insensitivity in eel (Anguilla anguilla, L.) for development of humane slaughter methods
van de Vis, J.W.; Lambooij, E.; Pieterse, C.; Kloosterboer, R.J. (2000). A method to assess unconsciousness and insensitivity in eel (Anguilla anguilla, L.) for development of humane slaughter methods. Annales Societatis Scientiarum Faeroensis Suppl. 28: 181-186
In: Annales Societatis Scientiarum Faeroensis: Supplementum. Societatis Scientiarum Faeroensis: Tórshavn. ISSN 0365-6772, more

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  • van de Vis, J.W.
  • Lambooij, E.
  • Pieterse, C.
  • Kloosterboer, R.J.

    In Europe consumers have become aware of quality, including a humane production of animals. The awareness led farmers and processors to pay more attention to humaneness of methods for slaughter of fish. In the Netherlands retailers are beginning to make demands upon slaughter of eel. The term slaughter is used in practice to designate the first step in the process, which is applied to convert a live animal into food. Application of a humane slaughter method should result in immediate unconsciousness and insensitivity , which last until death. When it is not possible to induce immediate unconsciousness and insensitivity the fish should be spared avoidable stress, pain and discomfort. The animal is rendered unconscious and insensitive by stunning. The objective of the study was to develop a method for evaluation of consciousness and sensitivity of eel (Anguilla anguilla, L.). A complete evaluation of slaughter methods also requires assessment of stress, which may occur in fish prior to stunning. Assessment of stress was notpart of this study. A method to record SERs in the EEG has been developed for eel. It was established that an eel of 700-800 9 can be rendered unconscious and insensitive immediately by passing a 545 mA current, 50 Hz AC, thtough the brains for 1.2 second. The period of unconsciousness and insensitivity lasted for at least 30 seconds. Electrical stunning caused a temporary cardiac dysfunction in eel, as shown on the ECG.

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