This study was undertaken with the goal of assessing the responses to stress in ducks slaughtered by two different methods on the basis of measuring the critical blood variables of 90 White Peking ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) with a mean weight of 2200±30 g. Reference values were established by taking samples from 30 ducks at rest; another 30 birds were stunned electrically; while 30 more were slaughtered by decapitation without prior stunning. The physiometabolic profile assessed included the following critical blood variables. Results revealed statistically significant differences (p<0.05) between lactate concentrations (72.13±21.71; 57.87±19.60; 57.31±25.91) and pCO2 (44.27±8.31; 32.27±4.31; 31.52±4.38) and between the reference values and the levels obtained from the groups of ducks sacrificed using the different methods. The metabolic adjustments that occurred in these White Peking ducks at the time of sacrifice depended on the slaughtering process itself, regardless of stunning method. The birds that were slaughtered presented low values of Ca++ and lactate, two indicators of agony, sensibility to pain and stress that affect animal welfare. The values of CO2 and blood lactate statistically decreased when compared with baseline. The behavior of this physiometabolic profile in the duck is completely different from pork, lamb or beef. A better understanding of the physiometabolic processes of ducks will allow us to improve handling, prevent stress and comply with the Mexican Norms for humane treatment and prevention of pain during the slaughtering of animals.
P. Roldan-Santiago, M. Gonzalez-Lozano, S.C. Flores-Peinado, D. Camacho-Morfin, M. Concepcion-Mendez, L. Morfin-Loyden, P. Mora-Medina, R. Ramirez-Necoechea, A.L. Cardona and D. Mota-Rojas, 2011. Physiological Response and Welfare of Ducks During Slaughter. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 1256-1263.