A review of the DTS: Diathermic Syncope® system with a discussion regarding its use for kosher slaughter (shechita)

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Abstract

Over the last several decades an alternative to current methods of stunning cattle has been developed. This system, DTS: Diathermic Syncope®, has been suggested to the Jewish and Muslim communities as a means to achieve pre-cut stunning in conformity with both religious and EU regulations without a need to resort to a derogation that permits an exemption from the EU requirement to pre-stun all animals undergoing slaughter. The developer’s contention is that the system induces fainting, and thus should be acceptable to all groups, including the kosher (Jewish) and Halal (Muslim) consumer. A review of the system based on publications and reports from the developer itself suggests that in reality the system selectively heats the brain, leading to an epileptic-type seizure with tonic-clonic phases and unconsciousness lasting several minutes. It does not induce a (benign) faint, and use of the system might cause structural brain damage. Thus, this system is unlikely to be acceptable under Jewish religious law and its animal welfare value can be questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65
JournalAnimal Welfare
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023.

Keywords

  • Jewish religious law
  • animal welfare
  • electrical stunning
  • fainting
  • humane slaughter
  • preslaughter stunning

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