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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Indigenous Slaughter Methods on the Behavioural Response, Bleeding Efficiency and Cardiac Arrest of Nguni Goats

Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P Bag X 01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 247;
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 4 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare at Slaughter)
Resource-limited farmers under communal farming environments slaughter goats for cultural beliefs and meat consumption using indigenous slaughter methods. These methods include transverse neck incision (TNI), piercing with a short spear on the suprasternal notch targeting the heart (SNP), and piercing with a short spear under-shoulder-blade chest-floor point-of-elbow (CFP) targeting the heart to induce insensibility and death. Unsatisfied animal welfare institutes consider these slaughter methods as cruel because goats are slaughtered while sensible; therefore, experiencing pain and suffering before death. In this study, we slaughtered castrates using the above-mentioned methods and collected behavioural responses before slaughter and while bleeding, the total blood expelled during bleeding, the time it took for the blood to be expelled, the time it took the goats to lose sensibility, and time to lose heartbeat. We found that goats slaughtered using CFP lost sensibility faster. We concluded that goats slaughtered using the CFP method experienced less pain and suffering during slaughter and died faster.
Resource-limited farmers slaughter goats without stunning. The objective of the current study was to assess the influence of indigenous slaughter methods used by resource-limited households on slaughter stress-related behaviour, bleeding efficiency, and time to post-slaughter trauma of goats. Thirty clinically healthy castrated Nguni goats aged between 15 to 18 months old with body condition score of three were randomly assigned to three non-stunning informal slaughter methods, (1) transverse neck incision (TNI); (2) suprasternal notch piercing in the direction of the heart (SNP); and (3) under-shoulder-blade chest-floor point-of-elbow (CFP) sticking in the direction of the heart. Ten goats were slaughtered using each method. Slaughter method had no effect (p < 0.05) on stress-related behaviour. Rate of bleeding efficiency was highest (p < 0.05) for SNP slaughtered goats. Time to lose sensibility was lowest (p < 0.05) for goats slaughtered using the CFP (55 s) when compared to SNP (68 s) and TNI (75 s) slaughter methods. Time to post-slaughter trauma was highest (p < 0.05) for SNP (247 s) and lowest for TNI (195 s). These findings suggest that goats slaughtered with SNP experienced rapid death when compared to TNI and SNP slaughter methods. It was concluded that the SNP slaughter method is the most effective slaughter technique because it is associated with higher bleeding efficiency and lower time to lose sensibility before death. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress-reactions; synapse reflex; bleeding time; bleeding quality; physiological response stress-reactions; synapse reflex; bleeding time; bleeding quality; physiological response
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Mdletshe, Z.M.; Marufu, M.C.; Chimonyo, M. Effect of Indigenous Slaughter Methods on the Behavioural Response, Bleeding Efficiency and Cardiac Arrest of Nguni Goats. Animals 2020, 10, 247.

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