Evaluation of the state of unconsciousness in the abattoir

This second review describes indicators of consciousness and unconsciousness that can be used in the abattoir. These indicators evaluate different aspects of cerebral functioning, but only indirectly. It is therefore necessary to monitor several indicators. Animals are considered unconscious if signs of consciousness are absent, and signs of unconsciousness are present. Given that the unconscious state is reversible it further necessary to monitor these indicators until the end of bleeding. The techniques used to diagnose brain death in humans cannot be used in the slaughterhouse. Under field conditions, at the end of bleeding, the absence of breathing and of brain stem reflexes and the correctness of the exsanguination are verified. If these three aspects are confirmed, in the context of the slaughterhouse and at this stage of the slaughter process the loss of vital functions is irreversible and the animal can be considered dead.