America Bans Use of Captive-Bolt Stun Gun

America Bans Use of Captive-Bolt Stun Gun

By on 31 Mar, 2011

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced (Jan 2004) that amongst new regulations to prevent the spread of BSE - "Mad Cow Disease" - the practice of striking cows on the head to stun them before slaughter, and the use of the captive-bolt stun gun is now forbidden, since this can transmit the infection beyond the brain and spinal column.

Shechita not only avoids the suffering caused by such stunning, but it disallows the practice as injurious and therefore incompatible with kosher Shechita.

Note: in the UK, despite the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF - now known as DEFRA) findings that the captive-bolt stun gun can indeed help spread BSE, no similar ban to that of the USDA has been imposed. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) stated in a recent report (June 2003): "The potential loss of this tool without a suitable substitute would present a major animal welfare challenge." They make no comment about the challenge this presents to human welfare.

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