- A study incorporating EEG (electroencephalograph) with electrodes surgically implanted on the skull of sheep and calves conducted at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Germany
Halal method of slaughter
With the halal method of slaughter, there was not change in the EEG graph for the first three seconds after the incision is made, indicating that the animal did not feel any pain from the cut itself. This is not surprising. Often, if we cut ourselves with a sharp implement, we do not notice until some time later. The following three seconds were characterised by a condition of deep sleep-like unconsciousness brought about by the draining of large quantities of blood from the body. Thereafter the EEG records a zero reading, indicating no pain at all, yet at that time the heart was still beating and the body convulsing vigorously as a reflex reaction of the spinal cord. It is this phase which is most unpleasant to oIt is this phase which is most unpleasant to onlookers who are falsely convinced that the animal suffers whilst its brain does actually no longer record any sensual messages,
Western Method of slaughter
Using the Western method, the animals were apparently unconscious after stunning, and this method of dispatch would appear to be much more peaceful for the onlooker. However, the EEG readings indicated severe pain immediately after stunning. Whereas in the first example, the animal ceases to feel pain due to the brain starvation of blood and oxygen – a brain death, to put it in laymen’s terms – the second example first causes a stoppage of the heart whilst the animal still feels pain. However, there are no unsightly convulsions, which not only means that there is more blood retention in the meat, but also that this method lends itself much more conveniently to the efficiency demands of modern mass slaughter procedures. It is so much easier to dispatch an animal on the conveyor belt, if it does not move.