9 CFR 313.30 - Electrical; stunning or slaughtering with electric current.
The slaughtering of swine, sheep, calves, cattle, and goats with the use of electric current and the handling in connection therewith, in compliance with the provisions contained in this section, are hereby designated and approved as humane methods of slaughtering and handling of such animals under the Act.
(a) Administration of electric current, required effect; handling. (1) The electric current shall be administered so as to produce, at a minimum, surgical anesthesia, i.e., a state where the animal feels no painful sensation. The animals shall be either stunned or killed before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. They shall be exposed to the electric current in a way that will accomplish the desired result quickly and effectively, with a minimum of excitement and discomfort.
(2) The driving or conveying of the animals to the place of application of electric current shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the place of application is essential to ensure rapid and effective insensibility. Among other things, this requires that, in driving animals to the place of application, electrical equipment be used as little as possible and with the lowest effective voltage.
(3) The quality and location of the electrical shock shall be such as to produce immediate insensibility to pain in the exposed animal.
(4) The stunned animal shall remain in a state of surgical anesthesia through shackling, sticking, and bleeding.
(b) Facilities and procedures; operator - (1) General requirements for operator. It is necessary that the operator of electric current application equipment be skilled, attentive, and aware of his or her responsibility.
(2) Special requirements for electric current application equipment. The ability of electric current equipment to perform with maximum efficiency is dependent on its proper design and efficient mechanical operation. Pathways, compartments, current applicators, and all other equipment used must be designed to properly accommodate the species of animals being anesthetized. Animals shall be free from pain-producing restraining devices. Injury of animals must be prevented by the elimination of sharp projections or exposed wheels or gears. There shall be no unnecessary holes, spaces or openings where feet or legs of animals may be injured. Impellers or other devices designed to mechanically move or drive animals or otherwise keep them in motion or compartmentalized shall be constructed of flexible or padded material. Power activated gates designed for constant flow of animals shall be so fabricated that they will not cause injury. All equipment used to apply and control the electrical current shall be maintained in good repair, and all indicators, instruments, and measuring devices shall be available for inspection by Program inspectors during the operation and at other times.
(3) Electric current. Each animal shall be given a sufficient application of electric current to ensure surgical anesthesia throughout the bleeding operation. Suitable timing, voltage and current control devices shall be used to ensure that each animal receives the necessary electrical charge to produce immediate unconsciousness. The current shall be applied so as to avoid the production of hemorrhages or other tissue changes which could interfere with inspection procedures.