An Assessment of Stress Caused in Sheep by Watching Slaughter of other Sheep
The question of whether witnessing slaughter of conspecifics is distressing was investigated in sheep. Previously catheterized sheep were allowed to see the stunning and sticking (exsanguination) of other sheep. Heart rate was monitored and serial blood samples were taken to assess stress responses. Although the measurable parameter levels were generally high due to human contact and handling, there were no specific increases in response to witnessing stunning and slaughter. This work failed to produce any evidence to suggest that sheep are distressed by witnessing the slaughter act.
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