Development and trial of a stress-free slaughter-method for outdoor cattle via gun-shot

Established slaughtering systems include capture, transportation, confrontationwith foreign conspecifics and eventually the delivery to the stunning box and an immobilization inside the box. All these aspects imply tremendous stress for animals. Outdoor cattle kept on free-range pastures are especially exposed to pre-mortal strain and frequently generate handling-problems at the day of the slaughtering. However, as an alternative, the technique of free-bullet rifle shooting can be applied under the terms of German as well as EU regulations. The cow gets stunned in its familiar environment on the pasture and de-bleeds immediately. Aim of the project is to improve the method of free-bullet rifle shooting together with respected consultants and advisors for free-bullet rifle shooting in order to get the method field-ready. Investigations in order to develop a save stunning-effect are carried out. Based on these findings a "proof of competence for the stunning and killing method via free-bullet rifle shooting for cattle" is going to be developed. Finally, the effect of the free-bullet rifle shooting on meat-quality will be investigated. This includes stun quality assessments of the stunned animals, analysis of blood samples, pH- and conductance measurements on the carcasses in the abattoir, sample taking and measurements in the lab (e.g. water holding capacity, tenderness and tastiness of the meat). The meat samples of the cattle stunned with a free-bullet will be compared to meat from commonly slaughtered cattle.The project is a joint research project between the University of Kassel and veterinarians and farmers. The Project is founded by the federal office for agriculture and food.

Cooperation :

Beratungs- und Schulungsinstitut für Tierschutz bei Transport und Schlachtung

Bunde Wischen e.V.


Video : 

Kugelschuss auf der Weide


Poster :

Poster  11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, 11–14th September 2013, Uppsala, Sweden



responsible :

Stefanie Retz und Katrin Schiffer