Developing Appropriate Stunning Methods for Halal Slaughter of Water Buffalo


  • Project code: PRJ-009441

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Saturday, May 31, 2014

  • Project completion date: Friday, November 29, 2019

  • National Priority: BUF-Enhance industry success through targeted industry-specific RD&E


This project aims to develop recommendations and guidelines for the effective stunning in Halal and non Halal produced Buffalo to cover both Indonesian and other potential SE Asian markets.
A review of literature on stunning of buffalo found very little information on optimal methods for stunning of buffalo, particularly for the Halal market, in which penetrating captive bolt stunning is disallowed due to the damage caused to the skull of the animal. The review identified percussive stunning at the poll position, and electrical head-only stunning to be the two most likely methods that may provide for effective stunning of buffalo for the Halal market.
Mechanical stunning is a proven technology in cattle, widely used globally and relatively cheap in terms of set-up and running costs. Non-penetrating (percussive) stunning is accepted by a number of Halal markets. High power percussive stunning in the poll position is a potential option for Halal production of buffalo, but some optimization of head restraint and positioning, and understanding of the ideal placement is required.
Electrical stunning is another proven technology in other livestock and is widely used where electrical power is readily available. Installation is likely to be more expensive than mechanical stunning, and running costs are related to the cost of electrical power. Head-only electrical stunning is fully recoverable, and acceptable to many Halal markets. No recommendations of current requirements are available for buffalo; and there have been some questions of duration of stun in cattle that will need to be assertained for buffalo.



Research Organisation


Objective Summary

Percussive stunning
1. Using cadaver specimens, measure key parameters of buffalo heads and necks in order to identify optimal application point for percussive stunning; and gauge the power requirements for an effective stun;
2. Design a prototype restraint unit for positioning of the buffalo head to allow good access to that optimal position. The restraint unit to be easily retro-fitted to existing restraint boxes;
3. Carry out field trials to demonstrate effective stunning using the prototype restraint unit and the power settings calculated, on buffalo within the Northern Industry.
Electrical stunning
1. Using first cadaver specimens, and then stunned buffalo, measure the resistance across heads in order to estimate the voltage and current ranges to research;
2. Carry out field trials to demonstrate effective stunning using electrical head-only equipment on buffalo within the Northern Industry.
Combined outputs
1. Prepare clear guidelines and undertake training with processors for the stunning of buffalo for the Halal market. The heavy usage of photographic (still and video) material and written Standard Operating Procedures is envisaged for training aids.