Pre-slaughter stunning of broilers by electrical charge in waterbaths is causing more and more problems after OIE revised guidelines. To ensure proper stunning higher currents should be applied, but experience in Europe, were the guidelines were immediately adopted, show drawbacks. Broken bones, damaged carcasses and bloodspots due to muscle contractions in fillet are seen regularly.
That is why the International Poultry Council wants to change the OIE chapter on waterbath stunning, especially now European importers think of demanding the same high current stunning for import poultry meat, for example, all around the world the high current stunning should be adopted to be able to export to Europe and processors all around the globe should accept damages or find alternative stunning methods.
Whether or not the OIE will change stunning guidelines was not known during the IPC meeting in Bangkok. In the words of Dutch chairman of poultry processors NEPLUVI and member of IPC Jan Odink: “In the Netherlands we have invested heavily in alternative stunning methods such as gas stunning after OIE rules were introduced. That gives us an edge. We –as NEPLUVI- are not going to plea for a return to the situation of some years ago when waterbath stunning at lower currents was allowed.’’