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DIALREL Glossary (1/2008) 

The glossary includes shared terms and is meant as a guide for technical and practical purposes. The project team is well aware that these terms may be used in many different ways and some are also contested. These are key research questions in the project. Several tasks are dedicated to find out about the variability of definitions and practices, which will be reported duly.  

Bleeding: cutting the major blood vessels supplying or draining blood in the brain (see also Sticking). 

Captive bolt stunning: Stunning by concussion of the brain through an impact of the bolt with the skull of animals. 

Chest/thoracic sticking: severing major blood vessels emerging from the heart by inserting a knife in front of the brisket or sternum (double cut: first the skin, then, with another knife, the vessels). 

Competent authority : means the central authority of a Member State competent to ensure compliance with the requirements of this Regulation or any other authority to which that central authority has delegated that competence.

Corneal reflex: blinking response to touching the eyeball indicating an active brain stem or light anaesthesia. 

Death: a physiological state of an animal, where respiration and blood circulation have ceased as the respiratory and circulatory brain centres in the Medulla Oblongata are irreversibly inactive. Due to the permanent absence of nutrients and oxygen in the brain, consciousness is irreversibly lost. In the context of application of stunning and stun/kill methods, the main clinical signs seen are permanent absence of respiration (and also absence of gagging), absence of pulse and absence of corneal and palpebral reflex. 

Electric stunning: Stunning by electric current passing through the brain. Electric stunning may be carried out as a reversible stunning method or as an irreversible stunning method (see also Stun, Stunning and Stun/kill or stunning/killing). 

Exsanguination: see Bleeding or Sticking Gas stunning: Stunning by exposing animals, to a predetermined gas mixture contained within a well or tunnel. 

Halal slaughter: Muslim slaughter method (see religious slaughter). Meat declared fit for the consumption by Muslims is called Halal; unfit meat for the food of Muslims is called Haram. Halal slaughter is slaughter of an animal that is lawful according to Islamic law (halal) and that is alive at the time of slaughter. The slaughter process must be carried out by a trained Muslim and begins by invocation of Allah (Bismillah, Allahu Ekber, In the Name of Allah). Halal slaughter is considered complete if the trachea, oesophagus and main arteries and veins are cut in the neck region (at least three of the four structures oesophagus, trachea and both carotid arteries must be cut completely). The instruments for slaughter must be sharp to ensure the most stress-free and quick halal slaughter possible and optimal bleeding. 

Hoisting for carcass processing: lifting an unconscious animal or carcass to an overhead rail, normally using shackles and a chain attached to a leg, for the purpose of bleeding or processing. 

Insensible: inability to perceive stimuli (unable to feel pain). 

Jewish method of slaughter: see Shechita 

Muslim method of slaughter: see Halal slaughter 

Neck cutting: severing major blood vessels in the neck region (skin and vessels cut simultaneously). 

Religious Slaughter: sometimes called ritual slaughter means slaughter according to religious rites or rules (see also Halal slaughter, Shechita). Religious slaughter does not necessarily mean that slaughter is carried out without stunning (see also Stun, Stunning). 

Restraining: means restricting the movement of an animal/ holding the animal in a correct position, so that a procedure (e.g. sticking or stunning) can be carried out accurately. 

Rhythmic breathing: regular breathing indicating an active brain stem, and can indicate the start of recovery after stunning. 

Schächten (German term): This colloquial German term covers both the religious slaughter according to Islamic as well as to Jewish rules. The term “Schächten” has to be understood to mean both a “religious slaughter without stunning” as well as a “religious slaughter with stunning”.  

Shackling: attaching a shackle to the hind leg(s) of an animal to allow it to be carried away for further procedures like stunning or bleeding. 

Shechita (Schechita): Jewish slaughter method (see religious slaughter). Meat declared fit for consumption by Jews is called Kosher; meat unfit for consumption by Jews because it was not slaughtered properly is called Nevailah. Colloquially, all unfit meat is also called Treifah, although that term has a more precise meaning. The Jewish slaughter method, shechita, is mainly characterized by the slaughter of the animal being carried out by a highly trained, devout Jew using a perfectly smooth knife to slice the throat in a continuous motion resulting in rapid exsanguinations and loss of consciousness. For the meat to be kosher, the animal must free of specific physical defects (i.e. not a treifah) at the time of slaughter as determined by a post-mortem examination by a specially trained rabbi. Thus, shechita is but one step in the production of kosher meat, which includes the selection of a kosher species, its proper slaughter, the post-mortem inspection, and the removal of certain non-kosher sections.  

Slaughter: means the process of bleeding to induce death, usually by severing major blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the brain. 

Sticking: act of severing major blood vessels (also see neck cutting, chest/thoracic sticking, bleeding). 

Stun or stunning: stunning is a technical process that each animal is subjected to. Its purpose is to induce immediate unconsciousness and insensibility in animals, so that slaughter can be performed without avoidable fear, anxiety, pain, suffering and distress.
Stunning methods can be reversible or irreversible (see also Stun/kill or stunning/killing). Stunning is performed before slaughter except in the case of post-cut-stunning, where it is performed immediately after the cut. 

Stun/kill or stunning/killing: process of rendering animals unconscious first and then inducing death or achieving these simultaneously. 

Unconsciousness: Unconsciousness is a state of unawareness (loss of consciousness) in which there is temporary or permanent disruption to brain function. As a consequence the individual is unable to respond to normal stimuli, including pain. 

 
 
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