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Efficiency of low versus high airline pressure in stunning cattle with a pneumatically powered penetrating captive bolt gun

Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio, Gregory, Neville George, Dalla Costa, Filipe Antonio, Gibson, Troy John, Paranhos da Costa, Mateus José Rodrigues
Meat science 2017 v.130 pp. 64-68
adults, beef cattle, brain, bulls, cows, crossbreds, tongue, zebu
The efficiency of stunning cattle was assessed in 443 animals (304 pure Zebu and 139 crossbred cattle), being mainly mature bulls and cows. Cattle were stunned using a Jarvis pneumatically powered penetrating captive bolt gun operating with low (160–175psi, N=82) and high (190psi, N=363) airline pressure, which was within the manufactures specifications. Signs of brain function and the position of the shots on the heads were recorded after stunning. Velocity of the captive bolt and its physical parameters were calculated. Cattle shot with low pressures showed more rhythmic respiration (27 vs. 8%, P<0.001), less tongue protrusion (4 vs. 12%, P=0.03) and less masseter relaxation (22 vs. 48%, P<0.001). There was an increased frequency of shots in the ideal position when cattle were shot with the low compared to high airline pressures (15.3 vs. 3.1%). Bolt velocity and its physical parameters were significantly (P<0.01) higher when using high pressure. Airline pressures below 190psi are inappropriate when shooting adult Zebu beef cattle with pneumatically powered penetrating captive bolt guns.